Channel NewsAsia

172 complaints made against doctors in 2013, says SMC

The Singapore Medical Council said the number of complaints received last year was one fewer than 2012, and the bulk of complaints were on the quality of service rendered not being up to expectations.

SINGAPORE: The number of complaints against doctors last year held steady from the previous year, despite the rise in number of practitioners.

The Singapore Medical Council (SMC) received 172 complaints in 2013, one fewer than in 2012 — and this represented a marginal decrease in number of complaints per 1,000 doctors from 15.9 to 15.7, it revealed in its 2013 annual report released on its website on Thursday (July 25).

The bulk of complaints was about the quality of services not being up to expectations, which was also the case in 2012.

A total of 352 cases were considered last year. These included unresolved complaints made in previous years. Of the 352 cases, 14 were referred for disciplinary inquiries. Of the remainder, 10 doctors were issued letters of warning, 54 were issued letters of advice, one was referred for mediation, three were withdrawn, 106 were dismissed and 164 were adjourned to 2014.

The number of doctors increased to 11,433 last year, a 7.2 per cent rise from 2012. In his foreword, SMC President Tan Ser Kiat noted the increase in number of Singaporeans trained abroad but returned home to work — 121 of them did so last year, about 18 per cent more than 2012's 102.

There were 4,124 specialists here, with statistics over the past five years showing the biggest percentage growth in renal medicine, rheumatology and geriatric medicine specialists.

Tweet photos, videos and updates on this story to  @channelnewsasia