Singapore—A general surgeon has been given a 10-month suspension for having sent more than 120 abusive and derogatory e-mails about the Singapore Medical Council (SMC) and people who work with it.
Dr Pang Ah San has also been asked to remove disparaging posts on social media about the SMC and its personnel.
Finally, he needs to pay all the costs of his disciplinary hearing as well as a S$10,000 penalty.
Between 2012 and 2017, Dr Pang had written over 120 emails to a number of recipients, including the Ministry of Health, doctors and the media.
According to a statement from the SMC, “The e-mails contained statements that were highly derogatory and abusive.”
The SMC said that its authority and integrity had been attacked in Dr Pang’s emails and that he questioned the conduct of the complaints and disciplinary committees, the taxation proceedings, bankruptcy proceedings, and execution proceedings for the enforcement of the taxed costs.
Among Dr Pang’s abusive and derogatory emails were remarks that the “mighty” SMC had been hijacked by one Singaporean, that the prosecuting counsel has “a track record of deceit” and “is a child of vice”, that expert witness lacked “intellectual honesty and moral integrity” and other such remarks.
Dr Pang claimed that what he wrote in the emails was justified.
However, the SMC said, ”We found that he had made highly derogatory statements in the e-mails without any justification, and that the entire course of his conduct in sending the derogatory e-mails was improper and brought disrepute to the medical profession.”
The Straits Times reports that this was Dr Pang’s third disciplinary hearing, as he had come before the SMC for having used a “loop” percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy tube on four patients between 2007 and 2009, a practice not commonly considered acceptable by doctors.
In 2012, after the family of one of his patients complained, Dr Pang, who works at SC Chia Clinic at Mount Alvernia Hospital, was found guilty by the Court of Three Judges of professional misconduct and was made to pay a S$10,000 fine.
And while he appealed the judgment, the court upheld the ruling from the disciplinary community.
In 2014, he faced another disciplinary hearing for using the “loop” method on three other children. He was fined another S$10,000 and was suspended for half a year.
He also ended up being required to pay a total of S$510,412.29 for the appeal and the two disciplinary hearings.
Dr Pang did not pay this amount, which caused legal proceedings to be filed against him.
And while he had applied for bankruptcy, this was dismissed in November 2015 after he showed the court he had over S$1 million in liquid funds.
Yet the surgeon did not pay the costs.
The SMC then applied to recover the money from Dr Pang’s bank account, but was told he did not have an active account in the bank any more.
In April 2016, more action was taken against him by the SMC. Six months later he went to prison for seven days due to contempt of court for not providing information on his assets.
In 2017, a bankruptcy order was made against him.
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