.........for illegally using SGH’s computer system to sort out personal affairs
SINGAPORE — Suspecting his wife of having an affair, a plastic surgeon accessed the computer system of the Singapore General Hospital (SGH) to get contact details of the wife of her alleged lover, in the hope of saving his own marriage.
Dr Leo Kah Woon also installed a keylogging software on the laptop he shared with his wife to spy on her personal communications. He later used the information he got in their divorce proceedings.
For his actions, a disciplinary tribunal of the Singapore Medical Council (SMC) suspended him from practising for three months from Dec 18 last year.
In its grounds of decision published on Tuesday (March 5), the tribunal noted that a suspension "would well deter like-minded medical and other professionals who have access to large databases of personal information from abusing the privilege”.
In particular, last year’s SingHealth data leak served as a “timely reminder” for everyone to treat cyber security with “the utmost seriousness”, the tribunal added.
Dr Leo, who has since divorced his wife, now practises at his own clinic at Mount Elizabeth Medical Centre. He was employed at SGH when he committed the offences.
In 2017, he was fined S$13,000 in the court for his actions. The SMC then began disciplinary proceedings against him, as his offences implied a character defect making him unfit for the medical profession.
THE SPYING BEGAN
Dr Leo and his wife tied the knot in 2005. However, sometime in 2011, he started suspecting that she was cheating on him.
Her alleged lover was identified in SMC’s grounds of decision merely as Mr C.
Around September 2012, he installed a keylogging software in the MacBook Pro laptop he shared with his wife. The software captured her keystrokes and took periodic screenshots when she used the computer, which were sent to his email account.
This meant that he could gather information about emails and instant messages that she sent.
The spying continued when she left their home to live with her parents and took the laptop with her.
The tribunal noted that in October 2012, she began “very acrimonious” divorce proceedings against Dr Leo after he asked her to leave their home. The pair, who have two children, finalised their divorce in May 2015.
During their divorce proceedings in the Family Justice Courts, Dr Leo used the information he gathered to explain his concerns about issues relating to the custody, care and control of their children.
He also wanted to find out all he could about Mr C’s wife at the time, identified as Ms A, and reach out to her. Dr Leo hoped that Ms A would be able to convince her husband to leave his family alone.
On Nov 7, 2012, when Dr Leo could not find any reliable public information to contact Ms A, he used a computer at SGH to search for her contact details in the hospital computer system. He then gave the details to his sister and told her to call Ms A.
Ms A came to know of her husband’s infidelity from that call.
Mr C then filed a complaint with the SMC against Dr Leo and the police were called in to investigate when the illegally obtained emails and messages were used in the divorce proceedings.
Dr Leo’s wife was fined S$3,500 by the courts, for abetting a private investigator to unlawfully access his Asus laptop on Dec 18, 2012. She had seen documents related to the divorce proceedings on it and wanted to make copies of them.
A LACK OF INTEGRITY
The SMC sought a suspension of at least six to eight months for Dr Leo, while his lawyers asked for a S$10,000 fine.
While the SMC argued that Dr Leo had displayed dishonesty, which could see him being struck off the registry of medical practitioners, the disciplinary tribunal concluded that there was no clear evidence of that in his conduct.
Instead, it said that he clearly displayed a lack of integrity “to a somewhat appalling extent”.
Dr Leo had hired a private investigator to surveil his wife, including installing the keylogging software on the laptop to gather evidence against her in the event of divorce proceedings. To use this evidence “brings (his) integrity to the lowest of levels”, the tribunal added.
As members of the public expect doctors to keep medical records confidential, a fine would not be enough to correct his breach of trust, it said.
“A suspension would also convey to the public that the disciplinary tribunal does not condone such behaviour and acts, even if they are related to matters in the private family domain. It will convey the message clearly that doctors are expected to conduct themselves with integrity and ethically both in their professional and private lives,” the tribunal added.
Dr Leo was also censured, as well as ordered to give a written undertaking to the SMC not to engage in similar conduct and to pay the costs of the disciplinary proceedings.
i smell a rat...seems like all sorts bad news abt doctors of late.....sth brewing???
then Gan KY talks abt increases in healthcare costs...hmmm