TCM physician suspended, fined for giving acupuncture treatment at promotional event
File photo of a patient undergoing acupuncture treatment. (Photo: AFP)
SINGAPORE: A Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) physician has been suspended for four months and fined S$5,000 over an acupuncture treatment he administered at a commercial promotion event.Chow Yuen Pin is the former medical director of Kin Teck Tong at Chinatown Point.On May 22, 2015, Chow administered the treatment to a woman during the event at her office, the Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners Board said in a media release on Tuesday (Sep 12).
The woman subsequently lodged a complaint saying that she suffered from traumatic pneumothorax after the treatment.An inquiry was convened. No determination was made on whether the treatment had caused the pneumothorax, or collapsed lung, the TCM board said.
However, the board found that Chow had administered the treatment "without due regard to the patient’s best interest, safety and well-being", it said.
The event was "not an appropriate and proper setting to administer acupuncture treatment", the board said, adding that Chow did not adequately explain the risks of the treatment and the other available options to the woman.
As such, he did not obtain "informed consent" from her before proceeding, the board said.Chow did not adequately assess her medical condition before he went ahead with the acupuncture treatment; nor did he keep proper records or document the process, the board added.For these breaches, Chow was suspended three months, fined S$3,000 and censured.Additionally, Chow breached the ethical code by allowing the promotional event, the board said. This included explicitly advertising the clinic’s services, and encouraging attendees to seek consultation at the clinic by giving them promotional treatment vouchers.
For this, he was suspended for an additional month, fined another S$2,000 and censured.SEPARATE TCM PHYSICIAN FINED FOR USING "PROFESSOR" TITLEIn an unrelated case, a TCM physician, Chen Sui of Science Arts Co at 150 MacPherson Road, was fined for improperly using the title "Professor".The husband of one of Chen's patients had lodged a complaint against Chen, on the consultation, diagnosis and treatment of his late wife by Chen in June 2014.
The man also said that Chen had used the title of "Professor", the TCM board said.An inquiry was convened to investigate the complaint, and found no evidence of any causal link between Chen's conduct in rendering TCM treatment and the patient's condition when she was admitted to hospital.Chen’s TCM clinical evaluation, examination, diagnosis and treatment of the patient’s condition during the consultations were acceptable methods of TCM treatment for the patient, the board said.However, Chen should not have represented himself as having the title of "Professor", which was in breach of the TCM Practitioners Act, it said.In fact, the board had written to Chen earlier in June 2011 regarding the improper use of the title. "Chen was aware that he should not be using it," the board said.It also found that Chen failed to keep proper medical records of his patient - a charge he admitted to during the inquiry.Chen was fined S$1,000 and censured for improperly using the title "Professor" as well as for failing to keep proper medical records.