Singapore: Doctor in data leak incident can no longer practise medicine here

The doctor whose boyfriend leaked the details of 14,200 people with HIV, and another 2,400 of their contacts - including sexual partners and drug users who could also be at risk of infection - is still on the Register of Medical Practitioners.

But he no longer has a certificate to practise medicine in Singapore. Ler Teck Siang, 36, also does not have access to the confidential information of patients in the National Electronic Health Records (NEHR), which includes all public-sector patients.

The Ministry of Health (MOH) said: "Ler remains registered as a doctor, but he currently does not have access to MOH and public healthcare IT systems with patient records. In particular, he has had no access to the NEHR system since January 2014. He will not be permitted access to any of these systems."

When asked why he has not been taken off the Register of Medical Practitioners, Singapore Medical Council (SMC) Registrar Benjamin Ong said the council has to follow due process.

Associate Professor Ong, who is also director of medical services at MOH, said Ler has appealed against his conviction and 24-month jail sentence - for abetment of cheating and for giving a false statement to a public servant - and the appeal will be heard in March. Ler had given a sample of his blood in place of that of his HIV-positive boyfriend, Mikhy Farrera-Brochez so that the American could pass medical tests to work in Singapore.

Now, he faces another charge of mishandling information under the Official Secrets Act (OSA) while he was head of the National Public Health Unit. That resulted in the details of all 14,200 people diagnosed with HIV here since 1985 - until 2013 for locals and 2011 for foreigners - landing in the hands of Farrera-Brochez. The American also has the personal details of 2,400 people who were their contacts. Farrera-Brochez, 33, recently released these details online.

Read more via StraitsTimes