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Registration of HC Surgical's Julian Ong as doctor conditional for now

THE Singapore Medical Council's (SMC) Interim Orders Committee ordered that the registration of Julian Ong as a medical practitioner be made conditional for a period of 18 months from June 18, or until the conclusion of an inquiry or proceedings against him under Part VII of the Medical Registration Act, whichever is sooner.

Dr Ong informed HC Surgical Specialists' (HCSS) board of this development on Thursday, HCSS said in a bourse filing on Friday.

The surgeon, whose private practice is a 70 per cent-owned subsidiary of HCSS, is the subject of a complaint filed with the SMC, which last month progressed to a disciplinary tribunal (DT).

The tribunal will conduct a formal inquiry into the matters indicated in the complaint, and the SMC will engage lawyers to act as prosecutors and draft charges of professional misconduct against the doctor, according to the website for the Singapore Medical Association's Centre for Medical Ethics and Professionalism.

Dr Ong's registration is now conditional on his compliance with several restrictions.

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He is not to contact female patients for any purposes outside the scope of his medical practice or send the personal data of his patients to any other person, whether on his own or through another person, unless required by medical practice or by law.

If he needs to contact a female patient for medical purposes, contact is to be made by a staff member of his clinic, unless the female patient is in hospital under his care, or at his clinic for consultation or treatment.

In June 2018, minority HCSS shareholder Serene Tiong lodged a complaint against the doctor claiming that he and another specialist colluded to have sex with "vulnerable" female patients.

She then forwarded the complaint to other doctors, prompting Dr Ong to file a defamation lawsuit against her. He lost the suit in April. District Judge Lynette Yap dismissed his action with costs, finding that Ms Tiong's claims were justified.

HCSS on Friday said it will release further announcements to update its shareholders of any material developments.

Shares of the Catalist-listed medical services group were trading at S$0.33 as at 1.21pm on Friday, up S$0.01 or 3.1 per cent.

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