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Dear Editor,

We refer to the commentary piece, ‘Doctors need guidelines for tribunal penalties’ (published on 3 Oct 2017) by Ms Salma Khalik.

The Singapore Medical Council (SMC) is aware of the need for sentencing guidelines and has been discussing and reviewing the matter prior to the recent Disciplinary Tribunal’s feedback. Given the serious implications of such sentencing guidelines, the myriad types and variations of possible misconduct, and the need to obtain a general consensus on the appropriate penalties, enough attention and time must be given to work on it.

In the meantime, the DTs are aided by precedent cases as well as the decisions of the Court of Three Judges which have, over the years, provided valuable guidance on the appropriate penalties for various types of misconduct. Additionally, since 2013, all DTs have had a senior lawyer as chairperson, a lawyer member or  access to a legal assessor for guidance in their deliberations.