Proposed Changes For Speedier Resolution of Medical Complaints Against Doctors
The authorities are proposing amendments to the Medical Registration Act which aim to speed up the process of disciplinary action against doctors. Last year, the Singapore Medical Council received 159 complaints against 204 medical practitioners, of which more than half were about professional negligence or incompetence. However, many have criticised the Singapore Medical Council for taking too long to deal with these complaints against doctors. As such, authorities are looking into improving transparency and efficiency in their disciplinary proceedings through these amendments.
Some of the proposed amendments include a formation of a new committee to develop sentencing guidelines, as well as implementing a system of appeal against complaint committee decisions to an independent appeal committee instead of to the health minister. It is hoped that with the successful implementation of such proposed measures, the process of prosecution of medical doctors could be hastened and this would in turn lead to quicker, fairer outcomes for affected members of the public. It should be noted that a complaint to the SMC does not preclude one from taking up legal action for medical negligence against a medical professional. As such, if you have a case of medical negligence, you should nevertheless seek legal advice as soon as possible to safeguard your rights.
Date: 30 September 2018