Friday, 22 September 2023

We are shifting our daily news to Gutzy.Asia Support us there!

Complaint filed with SMC against council member

aboutgshongcredentials(bold)The High Court ruled last month (4 Sep) that the Singapore Medical Council (SMC), which sought a legal bill of $1.33 million against Dr Susan Lim, had highly inflated its bill and reduced the amount to $317,000, less than 1/4 of the original amount sought.
SMC was earlier represented by Senior Counsel Alvin Yeo and Melanie Ho of WongPartnership LLP. Alvin Yeo is an MP of Chua Chu Kang GRC.
One of the bills that was reduced by the High Court was that of a medical expert used by SMC, Dr Hong Ga Sze. He was testifying on SMC’s side, giving testimony against Dr Susan Lim in her trial 2 years ago (‘Susan Lim case: SMC member’s fee ‘exorbitant’‘).
Dr Hong’s expert witness fees “very high”, “exorbitant”, “disproportionately high” and “questionable”
In its ruling, the High Court described the fees charged by Dr Hong as “very high”, “exorbitant”, “disproportionately high” and “questionable”.
Dr Hong’s fees were purportedly incurred as follows:

  1. $14,000 for “pre-trial discussions with Wong Partnership” from 18 March 2009 to 3 February 2010
  2. $6,000 for “standby for trial” on 4 February 2010
  3. $14,000 for “expert evidence” on 8 April 2010
  4. $6,000 for “preparation of trial report”

In its judgement, the court said, “Dr Hong’s charge of $14,000 for giving expert evidence on just one day (8 Apr 2010) is very high when one compares that with the expert fees allowed in the precedents and when the expert evidence that Dr Hong gave did not involve complex, technical or medical expertise… Dr Hong’s expert evidence related to billing practices.”
“It is therefore questionable whether the Applicant (SMC) should be allowed to claim against the Respondent (Dr Susan Lim) for the full extent of the fees that Dr Hong charged the Applicant,” the court added in its judgement.
The court also found that Dr Hong’s fee of $6,000 just for “standing by”, that is, waiting to take the witness stand was “exorbitant”.
The fee of $6,000 for preparing a trial report by Dr Hong was also “disproportionately high” when another medical expert witness more senior than Dr Hong charged only $1,000 to prepare a similar report that opined on the same issue – whether Dr Lim had overcharged her patient, the court said.
On the $14,000 fee for “pre-trial discussions with WongPartnership” from 18 March 2009 to 3 February 2010, the court found this to be “questionable”.
“18 March 2009 was even before the notice of inquiry was issued by the Applicant (SMC) to the Respondent (Dr Susan Lim),” it said.
The 18 March 2009 date also fell outside the time period on which the SMC bill was premised. SMC had earlier stated that the bill was for work done from 29 July 2009 to 17 July 2012 with regard to SMC’s case against Dr Lim.
Hence, the court decided to slash Dr Hong’s fees of $40,000 in total to just $5,000.
As it turns out, Dr Hong, who is the head of KK Breast Unit at the KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital, is also a council member of SMC [Link].
Complaint filed with SMC against its own council member
Dr Susan Lim’s husband is now filing with the SMC, a formal complaint against Dr Hong for overcharging. Going by the ruling from the High Court, Dr Hong had overcharged his fees by 8 times.
An SMC spokesman told the media, “It is the policy of the SMC not to comment on the existence or otherwise of any disciplinary proceedings.”
The matter has been put before the SMC’s complaint committee, which will decide if it has merit and deserves to go to a disciplinary tribunal for hearing.
This article was first published at TR Emeritus.

Notify of
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Latest posts

Election surprises and certainties: Dissecting Tharman’s presidential win

In the 2023 Presidential Election, Mr. Tharman Shanmugaratnam secured a stunning 70.4% landslide victory, surprising many, including himself. Despite expectations that TKL would win the opposition votes, voters from both camps showed a preference for Tharman's charisma and perceived competency. As Singapore reflects on the outcome, questions arise about the election's fairness and the real implications of Tharman's dominant win.

Volunteer as a Polling and Counting Agent for Singapore’s 2023 Presidential Election

For the upcoming Singapore Presidential Election on 1st September, members of the civil society have spearheaded an initiative to strengthen our democratic fabric. We invite committed individuals to join us as Polling and Counting Agents, standing together for a transparent, fair, and just election. This vote counting exercise, organized by members of civil society, is not specifically in support of Mr Tan Kin Lian, a candidate in the upcoming Presidential Election. It's an exercise in active citizenry. Nonetheless, Mr Tan endorses this initiative, which hinges on his candidacy, championing transparency, and has given permission for the results to be shared publicly.

Reflections from the Centenary: The Legacy of LKY and Singapore’s Future

Gilbert Goh reflects on the LKY centenary event: an inspiring showcase of a leader's global legacy juxtaposed against current challenges, urging Singapore to continue its path of progress.

Lim Tean advocates for Tan Kin Lian: A visionary leader for Singapore’s Presidency

In his speech at Mr Tan Kin Lian's launch of his presidential bid, Mr Lim Tean passionately championed the need for a truly Independent President. Highlighting Mr Tan Kin Lian's unique credentials and genuine concern for the wellbeing of Singaporeans, the Peoples Voice leader emphasized the pressing challenges of rising living costs and job insecurities faced by the public. Mr Lim depicted Mr Tan Kin Lian as a beacon of hope for the nation, advocating for a leader who genuinely understands and represents the people’s aspirations.

Tan Jee Say endorses Tan Kin Lian for President: A courageous, genuine, and humble...

In advocating for a truly representative leader, Tan Jee Say underscored Tan Kin Lian's humility, courage, and genuine dedication. Highlighting the pressing need for restored public trust and effective independence, Tan Jee Say emphasized that Tan Kin Lian, as the 'People's President', would bring back hope to Singaporeans and champion true democracy

Tan Kin Lian’s pledge: Rekindling unity and charting a vigorous future for Singapore

In the press conference to announce his bid for the Singapore presidency, Tan Kin Lian emphasizes safeguarding Singapore's reserves and strengthening public service integrity. Drawing on his 30-year leadership at NTUC Income, he envisions a future with affordable living, accessible housing, and job stability, pledging collaboration with the government for a united nation.

Strengthening Singapore’s political foundations: A call to action by Leong Mun Wai on Singapore’s...

Leong Mun Wai urges Singaporeans to strengthen political checks and balances, emphasizing, 'The best is yet to be for Singapore if we dare to make the right decision in upcoming elections.

Trending posts