The Singapore Medical Council (SMC) has banned a general practitioner from carrying out consultations with female patients unless he is accompanied by a female doctor acting as a chaperone. The GP was charged on 24 February for molesting and raping a 23-year-old female patient at his practice at Wee’s Clinic & Surgery at Bedok North Avenue 2 in 2015.

Wee Teong Boo, 66, has begun adhering to the conditions since 1 May 2017, for an 18-month period. This is the first time that the council has such an order issued for an ongoing court case.

Wee is accused of molesting a 23-year-old woman on 25 November 2015 and raping her between 30 and 31 December the same year.

SMC and IOC: “Innocent until proven guilty”

The council said: “While recognising that Dr Wee had not been convicted of the charges and should be presumed innocent until proven guilty, the SMC also considered the seriousness of the charges against Dr Wee and the need to protect members of the public while criminal proceedings against Dr Wee were ongoing.”

The matter was referred to the Interim Orders Committee (IOC) to determine if suspension was necessary or that conditions or restrictions were enough. The IOC then made an order on 22 April under the Medical Registration Act that Wee’s registration is conditional.

Among other conditions, the SMC stated that Wee cannot examine the breast, pelvic, genital or anal areas of female patients. Instead the female chaperone, who must be a registered medical practitioner in Singapore, will have to carry out these tasks on his behalf. The two conditions however, will not apply in life-threatening emergencies.

Conditions to be reviewed in six months

The chaperone would also have to detail every case in which she oversees in a log, and submit it to the SMC every fortnight.

“Such log shall also certify that the consultation and/or any examination were/was performed in accordance with professional standards. If such professional standards are not complied with, such deviation shall be recorded,” the council said.

The conditions will then be reviewed after six months.

If convicted of rape, Wee could be jailed up to 20 years and fined. Outrage of modesty carries a maximum penalty of two years’ jail, fine, caning or any combination of this. However it is certain that no caning will be imposed due to his age. MIMS

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