SINGAPORE — A Singapore general practitioner was charged on Thursday (19 August) for failing to keep proper medical reports of patients, and the amount of cough syrup dispensed to them.
Jitendra Kumar Sen, a 57-year-old doctor at The Family Clinic@Towner, is also said to have supplied codeine cough syrup to numerous patients more than once within a period of four days.
Jitendra, a Singaporean, was handed 27 charges, nine of which were tendered by the Ministry of Health for failing to maintain records, while 18 were tendered by the Health Sciences Authority for supplying cough syrup more than once within four days to patients. The charges are said to have taken place between 2016 and 2019.
Codeine is a prescription drug used to treat mild to moderately severe pain. While it may come in a tablet form, it is also used in some cough syrups. It is an opioid that can be addictive and its use by medical practitioners is regulated.
According to the Singapore Medical Council's registry of doctors, Jitendra is still a medical practitioner. He received his Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery in 1990 and still practises at The Family Clinic at 101 Towner Road.
Jitendra's 18 charges under the HSA are said to be a contravention of the Health Products Act. Under the Health Products (Therapeutic Products) Regulations 2016, a qualified practitioner must not supply codeine cough preparations to the same individual more than once within four days. In addition, he must also not supply more than 240ml of the codeine cough medication to any individual on any occasion, and must provide professional counselling on the use of the codeine medication.
However, Jitendra allegedly prescribed codeine cough preparations, such as Procodin, Phenexpect CD and Fedac Co, more than once in less than four days to 15 individuals on 18 occasions between November 2018 and February 2019. Two of these individuals were repeat patients.
Between 2016 and 2019, Jitendra, while he was a licensee of The Family Clinic@Towner, is said to have failed to keep and maintain proper medical records for eight patients by failing to record the consultations they sought and the amounts of cough syrup Dhasedyl or codeine dispensed to them on multiple occasions.
His alleged offences for failing to maintain records is a contravention of the Private Hospitals and Medical Clinics Regulations.
Jitendra is represented by lawyer Lee Teck Leng and his case will be heard again on 30 September.
If convicted of failing to maintain proper medical records, Jitendra may be jailed up to a year and/or fined up to $2,000 for the offence.
If convicted of failing to keep to the prescribed requirements of codeine, he may be jailed up to two years and/or fined up to $50,000.
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