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Alliance Healthcare: Clinic being probed by MOM 'not material' to group

ALLIANCE Healthcare on Monday said that the clinic under investigation by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) regarding a locum doctor is "not material" to the group and continues to operate as usual.

This takes into consideration that it operates 15 other general practitioner clinics, and is also engaged in three other business segments – namely managed healthcare solutions, specialist care services and pharmaceutical services.

Alliance Healthcare was responding to the Singapore Exchange's (SGX) queries on how material the clinic – My Family Clinic Hougang Central (MFG Hougang) – is to the group and the percentage of employees who require work passes.

The group added that it does not expect the business operation of MFG Hougang to be interrupted by the investigation.

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The clinic contributes 5.0 per cent to the group’s revenue, when inter-company transactions, allocation of holding company costs and other expenses, as well as non-recurring charges such as the IPO expenses, among others, are not taken into account.

The group also disclosed that 6.9 per cent of full-time staff requires work passes, and none for contract employees.

It also clarified that locum doctors – or stand-in doctors – are independent contractors and not employees of the group. To date, the group does not have any locum doctor on work pass.

The group on Nov 7 disclosed that it has been asked by MOM to assist in investigations concerning the locum doctor who "may have contravened" work pass conditions.

The doctor had in the past worked as a locum doctor "from time to time" at a number of the group’s clinics, and from April 2019 to Nov 7, he had ceased providing services to the group.

Alliance Healthcare added that My Family Clinic (Hougang Central) has received a letter from MOM that it has commenced an investigation under the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act, and that the clinic has been suspended from applying for new work passes until further notice.

However, the clinic may renew existing work passes subject to MOM’s criteria. Meanwhile, other clinics which the locum doctor worked at have also been requested to provide certain information to MOM.

The group added that its current operations are also not dependent on manpower which requires work passes. Based on the preliminary assessment of the incident, it does not expect a material impact on the group’s financial results for the year ending June 30, 2020.

Shares of Alliance Healthcare last closed at S$0.168 on Friday.