SINGAPORE: A doctor has been removed from the Register of Medical Practitioners after he forged a medical prescription while being suspended from practice, documents by the Singapore Medical Council (SMC) disciplinary tribunal showed on Thursday (Feb 28).
Khoo Buk Kwong was also ordered to pay costs from the disciplinary tribunal’s proceedings.
He had forged a prescription dated Dec 1, 2014, the document showed, for three boxes of Duromine that were meant to help his ex-wife with her weight management issues. Duromine contains phentermine, which acts as an appetite suppressant.
The prescription was forged using a “Parkway Shenton” memo sheet, as well as a name stamp and Medical Council Registration number of another doctor that were obtained without consent while Khoo was a relief doctor at a clinic.
At the time of the offence, Khoo had been suspended from medical practice for a total of 12 months, starting Jun 11, 2014, as a result of two disciplinary tribunal inquiries in relation to two prior criminal convictions. In 2011, Khoo was convicted of selling cough mixture illegally and later that year for hurting a female police officer.
After forging the prescription, Khoo used it on Jan 9, 2015, to obtain the medication at a pharmacy at Clementi Mall.
Later that month, he forged more prescriptions for various medications including 200 paracetamol tablets.
In his statement to the police, he claimed that he could have easily backdated the prescription to when he was still practicing in June of 2014, and that it would have been fine to stamp his own name on the prescription.
According to the prosecution’s sentencing submissions, Khoo’s police statement showed a lack of remorse and that his earlier criminal convictions had “implied a defect in character which rendered the Respondent unfit for his profession”.
Khoo’s conduct was “so egregious that his name should be removed from the Register of Medical Practitioners”.
“The public relies on medical practitioners to ensure that such potentially dangerous substances are only supplied to a person after professional consultation, and in the right quantities and dosages that would benefit the person,” it said. “The respondent abused this privilege when he created the forged prescription.”
Khoo’s mitigation plea said that he had forged the prescription as he was embarrassed “to approach his colleagues and fellow doctors”. He also “acted out of sheer desperation and acted impulsively”.
Khoo also did not profit from his offence, the plea said, and did not put anyone at risk through his forged prescriptions.