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GP suspended for a year for attacking police, selling sedatives

Disciplinary proceedings were initiated against Dr Khoo Buk Kwong after he was sentenced to two weeks’ jail for causing hurt to a police officer on duty and fined S$60,000 for selling sedatives without a license.

SINGAPORE: A general practitioner has been suspended from medical practice for 12 months – three months for attacking a police officer in November 2010 and nine months for selling sedative medication and cough mixture containing codeine without a licence, the Singapore Medical Council, (SMC) said Tuesday (Aug 5).

In its published grounds of decision, the SMC said disciplinary proceedings were initiated against Dr Khoo Buk Kwong after the 53-year-old was sentenced to two weeks’ jail for causing hurt to a police officer on duty. The conviction implied a defect in character that made him unfit for the medical profession, it said.

The incident happened in November 2010 after Dr Khoo joined a group of friends for a karaoke session at Orchard Cineleisure. After his friends left, one of the staff approached him to settle the bill, which amounted to S$124.76. Dr Khoo refused to pay and when the police arrived, he shouted obscenities at a female officer and kicked her in the abdomen.

In mitigation, Dr Khoo said he had been under tremendous stress due to family and personal circumstances, having been declared a bankrupt due to failed investments since Aug 5, 2010.
He also highlighted his remorse and that he had apologised to the police officer prior to his conviction.

The SMC’s disciplinary tribunal ordered that Dr Khoo be censured and suspended from practice for three months and that he pay the costs and expenses of and incidental to the proceedings, including the costs of the solicitors, to the SMC.

In a separate proceeding on March 11, 2011, Dr Khoo had pleaded guilty in the State Courts to six charges of selling sedative medication and cough mixture containing codeine listed in the Schedule to the Poisons Act (Cap 234), without a licence. He was fined S$60,000.

For that offence, the tribunal ordered that he be suspended for nine months. His 12 months of suspension will run consecutively and end on July 11 next year.
Dr Khoo has been suspended for professional misconduct previously.
On March 2, 2011, the SMC held a disciplinary proceeding against him for failing to exercise care in managing and treating his patients, and for inappropriately prescribing hypnotic medication and cough mixture containing codeine from 1999 to 2008. He was suspended for three months and fined S$2,000.

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