Singapore Medical Council

It was reported in the Straits Times in September 2011 that Dr Looi Kok Poh, who runs a private clinic at Gleneagles Medical Centre, was sued by his patient, Mr Li Siu Lun, after an operation in 2006 in which Mr Li claimed that Dr Looi had performed an additional procedure on him without consent, and later had the consent form altered.

Parkway Holdings subsequently revoked Dr Looi's accreditation with the three hospitals it owned: Gleneagles, Mount Elizabeth and Parkway East. In addition, Dr Looi will be facing disciplinary action by the Singapore Medical Council for altering the consent form.

While amending a consent form is a serious ethical breach, we feel that there are mitigating factors that should be taken into account when the Council decides on the appropriate disciplinary action to be taken against Dr Looi.

We believe that Dr Looi has delivered a standard of care to his patient that at least equals the level expected of his profession. At every stage during the period of care he had always placed Mr Li's best interests first, and had kept the patient abreast of what was happening. He also informed the patient post-operatively that he had repaired an inadvertently severed nerve during the operation. It was unfortunate that an inadequate consent form was prepared by the nurse prior to surgery, necessitating an amendment post-operatively for which Dr Looi omitted to obtain the patient's countersignature.

Above all, Dr Looi has proven himself a man of sterling character over the years by giving generously of his time and effort to society through his pro bono and humanitarian medical work (see Addendum).

We therefore submit a plea to the Singapore Medical Council to exercise clemency in meting out disciplinary action when it convenes to hear Dr Looi's case. Please help support this cause by signing the petition below.

Yours sincerely,

Drs Leong Yan Hoi & Juliana Ho


We have attached a list of Dr Looi Kok Poh’s contributions to our society, that this may be a testimonial to the compassionate and civic-minded person he is.

Since 2007, Dr Looi has been working for Dr Tan Lai Yong and, more recently, Dr Loh Cheng in Kunming, Yunnan, where he performs surgery for hand and orthopaedic cases once and sometimes twice a year.

Apart from the first trip where he was alone, the regular trips comprise 2 surgical teams consisting of 2 hand surgeons, 2 anesthesiologist and 2 scrub nurses, operating on about 20 cases over a 3 day surgical period in the Stone Forest region in Yunnan.

The doctors would pay for their own as well as their nurses expenses. Surgical equipment and expendables were donated by the companies in Singapore.

Kok Poh's other humanitarian contributions include :

1. Humanitarian Medical Mission to Palawan with the Diocese of Singapore, 1992

2. Surgeon in Second Combat Surgical Hospital, Singapore Armed Forces, since 1994

3. Surgeon in medical mission to China, Medical Service International, 1996

4. Tzu Chi Medical Mission to Batam, 5–7 March 2004

5. Tsunami Relief in Aceh, 22–30 January 2005

6. Hand surgical mission to Jose R Reyes Memorial Medical Centre, 8–11 September 2005

7. Medical Mission to Kashmir earthquake, November 2005.

The Chairman & Members
Singapore Medical Council,

We, the undersigned, are friends, classmates and colleagues of Dr Looi Kok Poh. It is thus with deep concern that we read the Straits Times article of October 1, 2011 which mentioned that Dr Looi was taken to task for amending a patient's consent form after he had repaired an inadvertently severed nerve during an operation.

We are aware that amending a consent form illegally is a serious offence that should be redressed adequately to protect the public and maintain a high standard of medical care. We also understand from our doctor friends that having committed a serious ethical breach, Dr Looi will have to face disciplinary action from the Singapore Medical Council.

Having known Dr Looi for many years, we can vouch for his character. We know him to be a kind and considerate friend, a loving husband and father, and a dedicated, compassionate doctor. He is above all a decent person and a man of integrity.

It is also noteworthy that Dr Looi has given back a lot of his time and effort to society. In particular, he has been doing pro bono work in Yunnan on an annual basis since 2007, performing hand and orthopaedic surgery on the local townsfolk . In addition, he has been involved in several humanitarian missions to various countries such as the Philippines, Indonesia and China (see addendum).

Notwithstanding the gravity of the offence committed, we do know that Dr Looi has always placed his patients' interests first when treating them and will never wilfully do anything to harm them.

In view of the above mitigating factors, and the fact that Dr Looi is a first-time offender, we plead with the Singapore Medical Council to exercise its discretion and temper justice with mercy in taking disciplinary action, in order that after such discipline he may continue to serve the public as a committed, skilled and ethical surgeon.

Yours sincerely,

The Undersigned
Petition URL: http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/plea-for-clemency-for-dr-looi-kok-poh.html

The Plea for Clemency for Dr Looi Kok Poh petition to Singapore Medical Council was written by Dr Leong Yan Hoi and is in the category Health at GoPetition.