SINGAPORE: A Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practitioner has been suspended for a year and fined S$5,000 after a patient claimed that nasal treatments carried out on him had caused his nose to “deviate” to the right.

Mr Ang Tick Waa, who worked at Angsan Chinese Physician and Medical Hall in Ang Mo Kio Avenue 6, had used a form of treatment that was “not an appropriate and accepted form of TCM treatment”, the TCM Practitioners Board said in a press release on Friday (Jun 14).

The patient had consulted Mr Ang on several occasions between March 2015 and July 2015 after he suffered nasal problems, including a backflow of mucus.

During the consultations, Mr Ang would treat the patient’s nose by inserting a flat, thin metal tool into the nostrils for several minutes. The gauze on the tip of the tool was dipped with medication.

The patient would then return for the second part of the treatment, during which Mr Ang would use a forceps-like instrument to remove some substance, tissue or dry skin from the patient’s nostrils.

The patient made a complaint on Mar 17, 2017 and alleged that Mr Ang had carried out “inappropriate nasal treatment” on him and caused his nose to be “deviated to the right”.

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NOT ACCEPTED FORM OF TCM TREATMENT

An investigation committee could not find sufficient evidence to prove that Mr Ang’s treatments had caused the patient’s nose “to be shifted or deviated”.

Mr Ang admitted to the committee that he had failed to carry out an adequate assessment of the patient’s condition and a clinical examination during the consultations. The patient’s medical record showed “an absence of any such observations and findings”, the committee added.

Mr Ang also confessed that the nose treatment he administered was “not an appropriate and accepted form of TCM treatment”.

“By failing to use appropriate and accepted forms of TCM treatment, Mr Ang had exposed the complainant to the risk of possible harm and injury,” the committee wrote in its findings.

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When the committee asked whether TCM or western medicine was used in the treatment, and to provide a picture of the instrument he had used in the treatment, Mr Ang refused to answer.

The committee said although this was Mr Ang’s first offence, he was “not apologetic or remorseful” for his actions.

He had refused to cooperate with the investigations and did not answer questions during the committee’s inquiry.

The board, in accepting the committee’s findings, suspended Mr Ang for a year and fined him S$5,000. He was also censured.

After his suspension, Mr Ang must also provide written undertakings to the board that he will cease using “his method of intrusive nose treatment” on all patients” and not prescribe western or non-TCM medicine. He must also carry out TCM assessments and clinical examinations properly and adequately.

If he breaches any of these undertakings, his registration may be revoked without further reference to him.