Medical officer admits to signing off on four of his own MCs

Medical officer admits to signing off on four of his own MCs

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File photo of a doctor. (Photo: AFP/Joe Raedle)

SINGAPORE: On Wednesday (Apr 17), a medical officer admitted he signed off on four of his own medical certificates in 2015. 

Joel Arun Sursas, 28, forged signatures on the MCs at Etern Medical Clinic in Punggol between October and November 2015, excusing his absence from work.

The court heard that Sursas worked for MOH Holdings and was posted to Changi General Hospital's diagnostic radiology department between September 2015 and January 2016.

However, he also worked as a locum or stand-in doctor at Etern Medical Clinic between July 2015 and December 2015, which was a breach of the rules.

He earned S$95 an hour as a locum doctor at Etern. In order to explain his absence from work at CGH, Sursas issued himself MCs from Etern on four occasions, signing off as "Locum" without stating his name and giving the impression that another locum doctor had signed it.

His trickery was uncovered when CGH checked with Etern. 

Sursas pleaded guilty to one charge of forgery, with another three counts taken into consideration for sentencing.

The judge said it was "unusual" for the case to come to court only after the Singapore Medical Council (SMC) had dealt with it, and adjourned sentencing to a later date for parties to discuss matters.

Both the prosecution and the defence intend to ask for only a fine, but disagree on the amount.

SMC in a disciplinary tribunal against Sursas in September last year ordered a three-year suspension and a S$15,000 fine.

It also censured him and ordered him to give a written undertaking to the SMC that he would not engage in any similar conduct again.

During the tribunal, Sursas had admitted that he wanted to earn extra money partly to travel to Canada to meet his ex-girlfriend.

Source: CNA/ll(hs)

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