Doctor who failed to diagnose, treat patient suspended
A 59-YEAR-OLD doctor has been suspended for three months for failing to adequately diagnose and treat a patient for a serious eye disease, which led to her having vision problems.
The patient had consulted Fong Wai Yin, a general practitioner (GP) at Nanyang Centre Clinic in Jurong West, on three occasions in March 2013 for red eyes and high pressure in her eyes, blurred vision as well as severe and persistent headache and vomiting.
However, Dr Fong, who has been practising since 1993, did not conduct a visual acuity test for the patient.
He also did not properly assess her red eyes, the Singapore Medical Council (SMC) said in its Grounds of Decision yesterday.
Dr Fong wrongly assumed that the patient had acute conjunctivitis but she was later discovered by another doctor to have bilateral acute angle closure glaucoma, which required immediate treatment.
Not only did he fail to refer the patient to an eye specialist for urgent assessment, he also repeatedly assured her that there was no cause for alarm.
This is despite her lack of improvement even after the third consultation.
It was only on March 26 that the patient was diagnosed with another condition at a hospital's glaucoma specialist clinic.
A complaint was lodged by the patient's son, and a disciplinary tribunal from the SMC held an inquiry into the complaint on July 25.
The patient's son indicated in the complaint that the delay in diagnosing and treating his mother's condition had made it impossible for her to recover her vision fully.
He also stated that she now suffers from tunnel vision and cannot see more than a few feet in front of her.