MOH: Workgroup to review SMC disciplinary process
The taking of informed consent by doctors and the disciplinary process of the Singapore Medical Council (SMC) will be reviewed.
The Ministry of Health (MOH) announced yesterday that a workgroup has been set up to conduct the review and provide recommendations.
The move comes after Dr Soo Shuenn Chiang, a psychiatrist, was fined $50,000 for failing to take appropriate steps to protect the medical confidentiality of his patient. (See report here.)
The workgroup is made up of 12 members appointed by MOH on Wednesday and consists of nine professionals from the health industry, two lawyers and an economist.
The heads of the Singapore Medical Association, Academy of Medicine Singapore and College of Family Physicians Singapore are members of the workgroup, which will be co-chaired by Associate Professor Ng Wai Hoe, deputy group chairman of the SingHealth Medical Board, and Ms Kuah Boon Theng, managing director of Legal Clinic LLC.
It is expected to convene in the coming weeks and will complete its review by the end of this year.
MOH also said the workgroup will canvass the views of medical practitioners and the public during its review.
Assoc Prof Ng said the review aims to provide guidance that promotes patient care, while also being fair to doctors. "We will engage widely to strengthen trust in our system and processes," he said.
His co-chairman, Ms Kuah, added that having clear and practical guidance for doctors will benefit the public.
"One of the areas of focus will be on informed consent, to help find the right balance, so that it is meaningful to patients and doctors," she said.
"The workgroup intends to consult widely, to ensure a good representation of views."
In the press release yesterday, MOH said it will work with SMC, the three professional bodies and the public healthcare institutions to come up with a "practise note" to add to the existing 2016 SMC Ethical Code and Ethical Guidelines.