Doc fined $10,000 for forging prescription while suspended
While he was under a 12-month suspension, a doctor forged a prescription for 100 capsules of an appetite suppressant because his former wife wanted them.
Khoo Buk Kwong alias Khoo Jian Yuan, 55, was fined $10,000 yesterday for dishonestly making a document, for the Duromine capsules, purported to be issued by Dr Handry Gumanti with intent to commit fraud.
A second charge of forgery was taken into consideration in sentencing.
The offence took place in December 2014 when Khoo was five months into his suspension by the Singapore Medical Council.
Khoo had obtained a rubber stamp bearing Dr Gumanti's name - who was no longer with the clinic - while he was employed as a relief doctor at the Shenton Medical Jurong Point clinic from April 2013 to May 2014, said Deputy Public Prosecutor David Koh.
After Khoo's former wife, Madam Angeline Wee Ai Keng, asked him to get Duromine capsules for her, he forged the prescription using the stamp on Dec 1, 2014.
The weight control tablet can be bought only with a prescription.
On Jan 9, 2015, he presented the forged prescription to a duty pharmacist at Unity Pharmacy in Clementi Mall and got three boxes of Duromine capsules, which he later passed to Madam Wee.
The matter came to light when the pharmacist contacted the staff of Shenton Medical Jurong Point clinic on Jan 9, 2015, to ask if Dr Gumanti was still working there.
The staff said the prescription was dated after Dr Gumanti's last date of employment.
A police report was made.
In asking for a $10,000 fine to be imposed, DPP Koh said Khoo should have shown more care and regard for healthcare regulations, which were binding on all Singaporeans.
"He has demonstrated that he will resort to illegal behaviour when it suits his interests," said the DPP.
He told District Judge Carol Ling that it was Khoo's 2011 conviction for selling codeine and promethazine that led to his suspension.
Khoo had been fined $60,000 for six counts under the Poisons Act.
Khoo's lawyer, Mr Amolat Singh, said in mitigation that his client did not forge the document to benefit himself or for financial gain.
He committed this "silly mistake" at the time when he was under suspension, he said.
He added that Khoo did not put anybody in danger and the father of three has vowed never to get into any trouble with the law again.
Khoo could have been jailed for up to four years and/or fined for forgery.