Doctor charged with cheating $62,000 in false Chas claims

SINGAPORE – A doctor who allegedly cheated polyclinics into disbursing more than $62,000 in subsidies under the Community Health Assist Scheme (Chas) was charged in district court on Thursday (Sept 2).

Wong Choo Wai, 50, faces four charges of cheating and another four of falsifying accounts.

The Singaporean is the owner of two clinics here – Bedok Day & Night Clinic and Jurong Day & Night Clinic.

Court documents state that Wong allegedly cheated two polyclinic groups, SingHealth Polyclinics and National Healthcare Group Polyclinics, into dispensing funds by submitting fake Chas claims for medical procedures he did not perform.

He is also said to have inflated Chas claims for the procedures he performed and falsified patients’ medical case notes to lend credibility to his sham.

His alleged offences, which involved 215 patients, took place in 2015 and 2016.

The Ministry of Health rolled out Chas in 2000 to offer lower-income patients subsidies for treatments at medical and dental clinics.

On behalf of MOH, SingHealth Polyclinics and National Healthcare Group Polyclinics process and reimburse Chas claims from participating clinics.

Wong is the not the first medical professional to be in the soup for cheating Chas.

In June last year, dentist Teo Eu Gene was sentenced to 46 weeks’ jail after being convicted of 25 charges of making false Chas claims.

His actions caused the two polyclinic groups to wrongfully disburse more than $18,000.

He was struck off the official dental register in June this year and will not be permitted to practise as a dentist in Singapore for at least three years.

The maximum penalty for each offence of cheating or falsifying records is a jail term of 10 years and a fine.

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