Business

No doctors at 7 clinics under Healthway Medical Corp

The turmoil at private clinic operator Healthway Medical Corp (HMC) is coming to a head.

Not only has the Singapore Exchange directed HMC to go back to shareholders to get their approval before drawing down on a controversial loan, the firm's clinics also appear to be falling into disarray.

Checks by The Straits Times showed that no doctors turned up for work at seven of its family clinics yesterday.

According to the clinics' receptionists, this was due to certain anchor doctors falling ill and no locum doctors could be found to take their places.

At Healthway's Holland Drive clinic, a receptionist said over the phone that no doctor would be on duty this week, until the anchor doctor comes back next Tuesday.

The Holland Avenue branch is closed till tomorrow evening, with both regular doctors on medical leave.

A woman who picked up the phone for its Serangoon clinic said it would be open till midnight, but there was no doctor and they could not find a relief doctor.

HMC, which is in a liquidity crunch after losing millions of dollars in questionable loans to two entities, announced over the weekend that it had not paid the salaries of its doctors and senior management for February, amounting to $3.9 million.

Asked if it was unusual for seven of its almost 50 family clinics to be out of doctors on the same day, HMC said: "We have and manage over 120 full-time doctors... Locums are in short supply due to the school holidays.

"On the other hand, our specialist and dentist clinics were relatively crowded today."

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