4 healthcare workers convicted for patient abuse since 2010, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

4 healthcare workers convicted for patient abuse since 2010

Four healthcare professionals have been convicted of offences related to patient abuse here since 2010, Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Health Rahayu Mahzam said.

Speaking in Parliament on April 2, she said disciplinary actions were taken in all these cases, such as the offenders being suspended and struck off the appropriate professional register.

“Three are no longer practising and one returned to practice after serving a 15-month suspension,” said Ms Rahayu, who is also Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Law.

She was responding to a parliamentary question by Ms Rachel Ong (West Coast GRC) about how many healthcare professionals have been charged over patient abuse each year since 2010, as well as how many of these were still working in the healthcare sector here.

Ms Ong also asked about restrictions placed on the deployment of healthcare professionals undergoing investigation for charges related to patient abuse.

Ms Rahayu noted that all licensed healthcare institutions must report abuse incidents or allegations involving a patient to their management, including cases of patient abuse by healthcare workers.

These institutions must take steps to manage the risk of recurrent abuse, such as reassigning the individual involved to non-clinical duties or requiring that he or she take a leave of absence, to minimise further interactions with patients while investigations are ongoing.

“The healthcare professional may be further referred to the police if a criminal offence is likely to have been committed, and to the relevant professional board for further disciplinary action,” said Ms Rahayu.

The Straits Times had previously reported that two staff nurses and one health attendant at the Institute of Mental Health were sentenced to between three weeks and nine weeks in jail after being found guilty of assaulting a long-term patient with chronic schizophrenia at the facility in December 2019.

In 2020, a nurse was sentenced to 16 weeks’ jail after assaulting a 67-year-old nursing home resident who was throwing a tantrum, causing him to be hospitalised for seven days.