Written answer by Minister for Law, K Shanmugam, to Parliamentary Question on Singapore Medical Council's appeal against disciplinary tribunal's sentence on Dr Soo Shuenn Chiang
1 Apr 2019 Posted in Parliamentary speeches and responses
Assoc Prof Daniel Goh Pei Siong (Non-Constituency Member of Parliament)
To ask the Minister for Law in the recent case of the Singapore Medical Council appealing against its disciplinary tribunal’s sentence, how did the memo containing confidential health information written by Dr Soo Shuenn Chiang for a patient, falsely obtained by the patient’s brother posing as the patient’s husband, come to be accepted by the court for the patient’s brother to obtain a personal protection order against the patient.
The Member asks about why the Court accepted a document in evidence.
The Courts make their decisions independently. We will know the reasons for a decision, if they give the reasons in a judgment.
There was also no conclusion or finding made by the Singapore Medical Council Disciplinary Tribunal (DT) as to whether the memorandum was admitted into evidence or relied on by the court in granting the Personal Protection Order (PPO). The DT observed that there was “no clear evidence” that the PPO had been granted because of the disclosure of the memorandum. At the very most, the facts showed that the memorandum had been produced in the application for a PPO (see Singapore Medical Council v Dr Soo Shuen Chiang  SMCDT 11 at ).
PPO proceedings are held in the Family Justice Courts (FJC). Proceedings in FJC are conducted in camera. Likewise in this case. In addition, FJC had not issued its grounds of decision. There is thus no appeal filed by either party to the PPO proceedings. Therefore, there are no publicly-known facts as to whether the memorandum was indeed admitted into evidence or relied on by FJC.
The Singapore Medical Council has taken steps to pursue an appeal against the DT’s decision. On appeal, the Court could possibly look into the surrounding facts, including the circumstances in which the memorandum was procured. Further, whether the memorandum was accepted by FJC, and the weight FJC placed on it in granting the PPO are issues that may also potentially arise on appeal.
Last updated on 02 Apr 2019