SINGAPORE, April 12 — General practitioner Jipson Quah allegedly charged at least three people S$1,000 (RM3,102) to S$1,500 for fake Covid-19 jabs.
In place of a Covid-19 vaccine, he administered saline solution to some 15 people, and then recorded false vaccination statuses for them onto a national registry.
Quah was also said to have conducted no fewer than 430 instances of remote pre-event testing (PET) via Zoom over 15 days last December, which was not allowed at the time.
The 33-year-old allegedly charged a monthly subscription fee of S$125 for daily testing, which took place from December last year to January this year, or S$12 for ad-hoc testing.
These details emerged in a Singapore Medical Council (SMC) report released on Monday (April 11).
The council had received a complaint from the Ministry of Health (MOH) about Quah administering saline solution, before allegedly recording false vaccination statuses to MOH's National Immunisation Registry system.
The SMC then referred the complaint to the interim orders committee on Jan 23, to determine if Quah's registration should be suspended or subjected to conditions or restrictions.
Last month, the committee ordered that the doctor receive the maximum suspension of 18 months, barring him from practising medicine.
The committee published its grounds of decision on Monday.
It said the fact that the allegations against Quah are of an “extremely serious nature” and the nature of the harm to the public that may arise, if the allegations are true, are factors that may justify an “appropriately robust order” from the committee.
Quah's actions involve “an abuse of privileges accompanying his position as a doctor and his position as a licensee or director of a licensee of medical clinics”, the committee said.
It noted that the 15 patients who had the fake Covid-19 vaccine jabs have not been identified — especially the three patients who purportedly paid S$l,000 to S$l,500.
“Dr Quah charged all patients the same fee (S$50-S$100) for a vaccination — genuine or otherwise. However, some patients subsequently offered an additional token through C (a freelance staff member of Quah) and so, there was no gross overcharging,” it added.
The doctor is also currently facing a separate criminal charge of defrauding MOH by falsely representing that a woman was vaccinated against Covid-19 with Sinopharm when she was not, in order for her to obtain a certificate of vaccination against the coronavirus.
The charges state that he allegedly conspired with the woman, identified as Mehrajunnisha, and his assistant Thomas Chua Cheng Soon, 40.
Iris Koh, 46, the founder of the controversial anti-vaccine group Healing the Divide, has also been charged with conspiring with Quah between July last year and January this year to trick MOH into believing that people were vaccinated with Sinopharm when they had not been.
At the moment, Quah does not face any charges of conspiring with Koh.
The SMC committee said that it decided on the maximum period of suspension as it was “necessary for the protection of members of the public and is in the public interest, given Dr Quah’s alleged breaches of various government measures which have been enacted and the premeditation that appears to have been involved”.
It added that it was necessary to treat the matter seriously to prevent public confidence in the Covid-19 testing system from being undermined.
Finally, the committee also considered that the proceedings against Quah will likely take at least 18 months to be resolved, including the time needed to complete police investigations and to close criminal proceedings.
The committee said that the “mere imposition of conditions on registration would not sufficiently protect the public or satisfy the wider public interest”.
In his response to the committee, Quah said: “I advised all the (15) patients to take the vaccination but these patients were genuinely distressed about the vaccination and adamantly refused — whereupon I acceded to their request, then uploaded false vaccination statuses into the MOH’s National Immunisation Registry system. Admittedly, this was an error and lapse in judgment…”
On the conduct of unsupervised PET, he said he “thought this was permitted…”
The suspension took effect from March 23. ― TODAY