TCM practitioners taken to task for breaching ethics
A traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) physician and an acupuncturist have been taken to task in two separate cases after they were found to have breached ethics and were unrepentant for their actions.
A woman who was diagnosed with early stage breast cancer and lung cancer in October 2014 visited Mr Chua Beng Chye of World of TCM Medicare in Geylang on Nov 3 that year.
She was scheduled to undergo surgery to remove cancerous tumours in her breast and lung the day after.
But Mr Chua convinced her to cancel her surgery and instead rely on ginseng capsules and a medicine made of 24 herbs.
He claimed the treatment could "cure early stage cancer", despite it not being an accepted method of treatment, even within TCM.
On Nov 5, 2014, during a second consultation, Mr Chua told the patient that surgery would cause the cancer cells to "proliferate even faster and/or metastasise".
He also claimed the tumour in the lung "would not be life-threatening".
But the patient's son intervened and convinced the mother to undergo surgery a few days later.
The son lodged a complaint, leading to investigations that found Mr Chua had exploited the patient's vulnerability and that he was not remorseful for his conduct.
Following the findings, the TCM Practitioners Board suspended his registration for the maximum period of three years effective Aug 7 this year, fined him $10,000 and issued him a notice of censure.
In another case, acupuncturist Goh Seng Ngei of The World Medical Hall at Selegie Road was found to have a "defect in character", having been convicted of operating an establishment for massage without a licence in 2014 and 2017.
He also made false declarations in his application to renew his acupuncturist practising certificate in 2015 and last year, claiming that he had not been convicted of criminal offences in Singapore.
The TCM Practitioners Board found that Mr Goh appeared to be unrepentant and cancelled his registration as an acupuncturist effective Aug 7 this year.
In a press release yesterday, the board said it takes a serious view of such incidents, and it "will not hesitate to initiate disciplinary action" against such TCM practitioners.