Doctor warned over sick leave note

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 19 April, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 19 April, 2007, 12:00am

A private doctor who succumbed to begging and pressure tactics to issue a month's sick leave certificate was given a warning by the Medical Council yesterday.

Adventist Hospital doctor Daniel Wu Yiang was accused of granting a month's sick leave to Chiu Shang-huang, a manual worker, under pressure rather than based on a proper diagnosis.

'I did not intend to grant him the certificate and didn't examine him, as I found his purpose was suspicious,' said Dr Wu, a registered medical practitioner for 19 years, at a council hearing yesterday.

'But the patient and his friend kept begging me for it and just refused to leave empty-handed. As more and more patients lined up in my clinic, I didn't have any other option but to give him another one-month sick leave certificate.'

The council heard that Mr Chiu first visited Dr Wu's clinic on November 7, 2005 and asked for three months' sick leave for a back injury which he claimed to have sustained six months earlier at work.

After being told the sick leave Mr Chiu had been given by another doctor expired the next day, Dr Wu gave him one month's leave after a physical examination. He also advised Chiu to make an appointment with the original doctor for treatment.

However, Mr Chiu showed up again at Dr Wu's clinic with a friend on December 8, pleading for an extension. Dr Wu admitted he was under pressure and so agreed to issue another month's sick leave certificate without an examination.

A few days later, Dr Wu said, he received a letter from a medical insurance company in charge of Mr Chiu's case. It informed him that the patient was injured more than one year ago and he had seen other doctors.

Mr Chiu came to his clinic a third time on December 15 to ask him to amend the typographical error on the second certificate. This time, the doctor turned down his request and retracted the certificate. The patient then complained to the Medical Council over Dr Wu's refusal.