Man's condition deteriorates, dies after treatment from unlicensed TCM practitioner

A man died from critical kidney failure 15 months after seeking treatment with an unlicensed traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) practitioner.

The practitioner, Wong Choo Kum, 69, had even proclaimed, “If I don’t cure you, I will chop off my head!”.

The incident happened at Wongs’s flat at Block 16,  Marsiling Lane between November 2013 and January 2015.

Wong was charged with the illegal practice and advertising of his services back in January 2018, had pleaded not guilty.

The trial was set on on Thursday (Mar 1) at the State Court, and Wong was unrepresented, reports Lianhe Wanbao

The court heard that the patient had suffered from a myriad of ailments such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and cholesterol.

He had been on western medication at the time. 

He later sought treatment with Wong who promised to cure him within 13 sessions. 

Wong also told the patient, after checking the latter’s tongue and pulse, that he would suffer from cancer and a stroke. 

The patient believing in Wong forked out over $10,000 for his ‘treatment sessions’ with Wong. 

During the sessions, Wong prescribed medicine used to prevent and treat diabetes and other illnesses, a breach of TCM regulations. 

The patient had lodged a police report at a police post while he was still alive. 

He was questioned by an officer from the Ministry of Health who also recorded his statements. 

On Thursday morning, the officer was summoned to testify before the court and submitted the patient’s statements. 

The statements revealed that the patient had started his first consolation with Wong on Nov 1, 2013. 

During that time, Wong’s girlfriend, a Malaysian, was also present. 

The patient said that Wong operated from a two-room rental flat.

After Wong checked the patient’s pulse, he told him:

“If you don’t seek treatment fast, you will definitely suffer a stroke and cancer.”

Wong then boasted that he would be able to cure the man in 13 sessions, or he would ‘chop his own head off’. 

He also claimed that he was able to treat many terminal illnesses, and the patients would give him a $2,888 red packet after recovering. 

After listening to Wong, the man agreed to the treatment and consulted Wong over 70 times in the following 15 months, about once every week.

Each consolation session cost between $300 and $500.

Despite Wong’s claims, the man’s condition continued to deteriorate, and he subsequently died from a critical kidney failure.