Dr Jipson Quah Suspended By Singapore Medical Council
The Covid-19 pandemic has caused widespread upheaval in the two years since it first hit Singapore’s shores. To circumvent stringent measures to curb the spread of the virus, some came up with ways to outsmart the authorities.
One such person was Dr Jipson Quah, a 33-year-old general practitioner who committed Covid-19 related offences in partnership with Iris Koh, founder of the anti-vaccine group Healing The Divide, in January.
In addition, Dr Quah gave fake Covid-19 jabs to 15 people and allowed at least 430 people to take Covid-19 tests remotely.
The Singapore Medical Council (SMC) set up an Interim Orders Committee to look into the case.
After which, SMC meted out a maximum suspension term of 18 months to Dr Quah to be carried out on 23 Mar. The SMC published the grounds for its decision online on 11 Apr.
Dr Jipson Quah allowed remote PET & ART tests
According to SMC’s inquiry report, Dr Quah was the licensee of Wan Medical Clinic, and the licensee or sole director of the licensee of Mayfair Medical Clinic, Mayfair Medical Clinic (Yishun Chong Pang), and Ong Clinic & Surgery (Yishun), which have all closed since.
On 23 Jan this year, SMC received complaints from the Ministry of Health (MOH) regarding Dr Quah’s conduct.
In Nov 2021, he instructed one of his staff – identified as C in the report – to allow unvaccinated individuals to undergo pre-event testing (PET) remotely, supervise the process via Zoom, and upload the PET results to MOH’s Patient Risk Profile Portal.
Dr Quah also granted C authorised access to the MOH Portal of Wan Medical Clinic.
Remote testing was prohibited at the time. Dr Quah charged interested subjects a monthly fee of S$125 from 15 Dec 2021 to 14 Jan 2022. He charged S$12 per test for a remote PET on an ad-hoc basis.
Between 15 to 31 Dec 2021, he was aware of and allowed C to accept subjects’ Antigen Rapid Test (ART) swabs for PET that were carried out remotely via pre-recorded videos. The footage showed the subjects conducting the self-administered PET and stating their name, date and time.
C then uploaded the results on the MOH Portal. About 430 of such remote PET exercises were conducted. This was also not legally permitted.
Uploaded false test results
Around 4 Jan 2022, an unnamed and unvaccinated female subject with a negative self-administered ART test result and a negative PCR test result told C that she was worried she would not be able to obtain a letter exempting her from Covid-19 vaccination.
C created a fake patient account for her in Wan Medical Clinic, as instructed by Dr Quah.
After C falsely uploaded the female subject’s ART test result as positive in the MOH Portal. He then issued the female subject an exemption letter stating that she had recovered from Covid-19.
This allowed her to obtain a recovered status and be exempted from vaccination-differentiated Safe Management Measures.
Around 5 Jan 2022, the female subject checked her Health Hub record and saw her ART result falsely reflected as positive.
Gave fake Covid-19 jabs & false vaccination statuses
Around Dec 2021 and Jan 2022, Dr Quah knowingly gave saline solution, instead of a Covid-19 vaccine, to about 15 unvaccinated patients. He was paid between S$1,000 to S$1,500 by at least three unvaccinated patients.
Dr Quah then uploaded false vaccination statuses for unvaccinated patients onto MOH’s National Immunisation Registry system. He changed their statuses to “vaccinated”, although they had not been administered with a Covid-19 vaccine.
Dr Quah claimed that chronic fatigue may have clouded his professional judgment, as he was clocking over 70 hours a week, 7 days a week.
He also said he had to fork out about S$28,000 in monthly repayments and instalments. He asked to work under supervision or as a locum doctor and pledged to refrain from Covid-19 procedures.
But given the “very serious and grave allegations” and how Dr Quah’s “consciously disregarded” Covid-19 testing regulations, SMC gave a maximum suspension term of 18 months.
Doctors should uphold high standards
Singaporeans often hold doctors in high esteem. Hence, those in the medical line should abide by the rules to meet the high standards expected of them.
Given the progress we’ve made in tackling Covid-19 as a country, there should be no compromise regarding medical ethics and regulations.
After all, be it healthcare professionals or everyday folk, we all have our part to play in maintaining Singapore’s safety.
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