Six-month suspension for doctor over breast treatment

A general practitioner has been suspended for six months after he used an unapproved filler to augment the breast of a patient, causing her "prolonged pain".

Dr Calvin Chan injected the patient with Aqualift Dermal Filler in August 2008, even though the Health Sciences Authority had ruled that it could not be used here.

Dr Chan, who was practising at Calvin Chan Aesthetic and Laser Clinic at Wheelock Place in Orchard Road, also did not tell his patient that there were no acceptable clinical studies or data on the safety of the substance.

As such, he failed to get the patient's informed consent.

When the patient's right breast tissue became infected, he "inappropriately" used several classes of antibiotics without first finding out the bug causing her infection.

The Singapore Medical Council's (SMC) disciplinary tribunal said his "haphazard approach" caused the patient unnecessary pain and exposed her to possible multi-resistance of bacteria.

Dr Chan pleaded guilty to four charges and another for not getting informed consent, which was taken into consideration.

The tribunal took into account the doctor's guilty plea, which "helped to save time and cost", and the fact that he has since ensured his practice is compliant with Ministry of Health guidelines.

It decided that the appropriate penalty was a one-year suspension.

But it halved this sentence because there was a delay of more than three years between the doctor being told of the complaint and being served with notice of inquiry.