A DOCTOR who inappropriately prescribed medication to his patients and failed to properly maintain their records was suspended for four months and fined S$50,000.

Dr Chua Boon Ling, 43, of Simon Road Family Clinic, was convicted of nine charges by a Disciplinary Committee inquiry, the Singapore Medical council said in a statement on Tuesday.

Dr Chua faced 14 charges of professional misconduct for failing to exercise due care in the management of the patients with benzodiazepines, and/or medication containing codeine.

The Disciplinary Committee found that Dr Chua had inappropriately prescribed benzodiazepines on an indefinite basis to his patients, which was not an accepted medical practice and cannot be in the interests of the patients.

It also noted that medication was highly addictive and it was 'incumbent on the prescribing physician to exercise great care and control to ensure that his patients do not develop an addiction' to it.

The Disciplinary Committee also found that Dr Chua had failed to properly maintain the relevant patients' records for the management of his patients' treatment.

'Dr Chua's failure to do so amounted to professional misconduct. Given the extent of the patients' dependence and addiction to the medications prescribed, the Disciplinary Committee did not accept that Dr Chua was in a position to continue with his management of the patients and that Dr Chua had failed to refer the patients for specialist treatment, or for co-management with a specialist,' the statement said.

The Disciplinary Committee noted that such a failure was 'inappropriate and unprofessional in that the dependency of the patients was left unchecked'.

Doc suspended 4 mths, fined