Surgeon Susan Lim, whom we written about before, was fined $10,000 and suspended from practice for three years for professional misconduct for the $24.8 million bill charged to the sister of the Queen of Brunei.
The bill was for 110 medical visits, which comes to $218,181.82 per visit—not bad!
On July 1, Singapore’s highest court dismissed an appeal by Dr. Lim against her conviction on charges of professional misconduct over the amount she charged a patient from the royal family of Brunei. This included the dismissal of Susan Lim’s appeal against her fine of $10,000 and suspension from practice for three years.
Singapore’s Court of Appeal said that the ethical obligation of a doctor is to not take advantage of his patient, whether in a monetary sense or otherwise, and that it “operates over and above contractual and market forces.” A doctor is ethically obligated to charge a fee that is reasonable and fair and any agreement between doctor and patient will not override this ethical obligation.
Specifically regarding the charges, the court ruled that the invoices she issued was in an “unsystematic, arbitrary and ultimately, opportunistic manner” and is one of the most serious cases, if not the most serious case of overcharging in the local medical profession.
In August 2012, Dr Lim had been found guilty of 94 charges of professional misconduct by the Singapore Medical Council (SMC) for charging about $24 million for the services provided to Pengiran Anak Hajah Damit Pg Pemancha Pg Anak Mohd Alam for 110 treatment days for six months, from January to June 2007. Dr Lim was, at that time, given a three-year suspension and fined $10,000 – which has now been upheld by the appeal court.
Certainly, the court’s paltry $10,000 fine will not make much of a dent in the $24.8 million Susan Lim received from the sister of Queen of Brunei.
The Queen’s sister? Oh—she died.