S'pore doctor loses licence for molesting and taking half-naked pictures of patient

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A 53-year-old doctor, who faced 42 months' of jail term which was later extended to 54 months for molesting male patient, will not be able to return to his profession after his release from the jail, confirmed the medical council.

As per Singapore Medical Council's (SMC) grounds of decision released on Tuesday, June 18 the accused had "cynically exploited his knowledge of and access to restricted drugs to facilitate his own nefarious criminal intent, with total disregard to the risk to the patient's health".

The council noted that the Aesthetic doctor Tan Kok Leong had taken his patient back to a hotel and injected him with a painkiller and a sedative, before molesting him and taking pictures of himself during the incident.

The SMC described this incident as "unprecedented" and gave the number of charges considered for the conviction. During sentencing, the council stated that removal of a doctor's name from the register is the most severe penalty.

On June 6, 2013, Tan performed a liposuction procedure on the victim at Life Source Medical Centre in Novena Medical Centre and during this procedure, the accused molested the man. Two clinical assistants, who were present at the spot, witnessed Tan putting his hand under the surgical drape and touching the genitals of the patient.

During the court hearing, the judge came to know that one of the assistant was disgusted and left the room in anger as she did not want to see more. Even though the victim's fiancée was present at the room, she did not spot the mischief as she was busy administering a nose filler injection on the patient.

One month later, on July 5 the doctor again performed another liposuction on the patient, as he told the victim and told him that he had booked a hotel room at Oasia Hotel for the patient to recuperate.

At around 11 pm on that day, Tan injected than with stupefying drug and a painkiller after which that man had fallen asleep. Then the accused undressed the victim, touch him inappropriately and took photos of while doing so. Next day, Tan again administered the same drugs and repeated his actions.

An expert told the court during the trial that it is unethical to sedate a patient in a non-medical environment.

The investigation revealed that Tan took a total of 21 naked photos of the patient, labelled with his name and saved it on his phone.

As per the tribunal "His actions go beyond the pale, and reveal a defect of character that leaves us in no doubt that the respondent is unfit to be a medical practitioner."

However, it should be noted that initially Tan denied to plead guilty in court but last year in December he admitted that he had "exhausted all possible avenues to vindicate himself."

While clarifying the decision, SMC mentioned that "We were of the firm mind that the degree of culpability in the commission of the sexual offences was so great that there should be no doubt that the respondent should be stripped of his licence to practice on the basis of this ground alone."