Dentist struck off S’pore dental register for making false Chas claims

SINGAPORE – Dentist Teo Eu Gene, who was jailed last year for having submitted false claims for dental procedures, has been struck off the official dental register.

He will not be permitted to practise as a dentist in Singapore for at least three years. After this period, he can apply for his name to be restored in the register, said the Singapore Dental Council in a statement on Friday (June 25).

Last year, Teo became the first person to be jailed for cheating the Government through the Community Health Assist Scheme (Chas).

He was sentenced to 46 weeks’ jail after being convicted of 25 charges of making false Chas claims.

These claims were for dental procedures between 2014 and 2015.

Teo’s actions caused two polyclinic groups – SingHealth Polyclinics and National Healthcare Group Polyclinics – that process and reimburse Chas claims on behalf of the Ministry of Health to wrongfully disburse more than $18,000.

On Friday, the Singapore Dental Council said it held on April 12 a disciplinary inquiry against Teo, who previously practised at Phoenix Dental Surgery clinics.

The disciplinary committee noted that Teo’s dishonest conduct and convictions seriously impinged upon the reputation of the profession.

As Teo’s case was apparently the first to be brought before the disciplinary committee, it was imperative to set the appropriate benchmark in emphasising that such cases must be dealt with severely, said the council.

Teo has been ordered to pay the costs and expenses of, and incidental to, the proceedings, including costs of counsel to the Singapore Dental Council.

His removal from the Register of Dentists took effect on Wednesday (June 23).

The council urged all dental professionals to be cognisant of the laws and regulations governing dental practices.

It added that professionals should comply with the provisions of the code of ethics of the profession as well as directives and guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health.