Jun 6, 2007

Recommend a Psychiatrist

A reader has asked me to recommend a good psychiatrist in Singapore, for treating kleptomania. If you know of any such psychiatrist, please email me at mrwangsaysso@gmail.com or leave a comment below. Thank you.


kai said...

Who's that reader? Whybegay? haha :p

Anonymous said...

Thanks Mr Wang! Very grateful to you.


Anonymous said...


Cappella said...

Dr Brian Yeo from Brian Yeo clinic based in Mount Elizabeth hospital.

Mr Wang Says So said...

This is an email from Aaron Ng:

"Dear Mr Wang,

I happened to intern at Institute of Mental Health for 3 months and I believe the reader who sent you the email should bring the patient there. They have specialists in all areas. I also recommend going there because it is better to let a professional do a diagnosis. It might not necessarily be kleptomania. Every case brought to IMH is given a thorough examination (about an hour). The charges are also quite reasonable compared to private hospitals (I think the consultation is somewhere around $15-$20).

I hope this little bit of information helps. I know there's a stigma against IMH but in my opinion, that's the best place in Singapore for mental illnesses. They have dozens of consultant level doctors there.


richard seah said...

Hi Mr Wang

I wonder if a hypnotherapist might be more helpful. Psychiatrists, from what I know, deal with drugs and drugs are not appropriate treatment for kleptomania.

One good hypnotherapist I know is Anita Kashyap, she practices at Centre for Complementary and Alternative Medicine Tel: 6734 6440.

The person can discuss if hypnotherapy is appropriate before proceeding.

I know for a fact that hypnotherapy is effective with helping people stop smoking and other addictions. Kleptomania seems to me to be in same category.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Ang, whose clinic is at the 9th level of Camden Medical centre can help. I believe the name of his clinic is the Pyschotherapy Clinic for adults, though I might be wrong.

lost said...

Psychiatrists are not limited to using drugs, although that is perhaps their speciality, in that no other mental health professional is allowed to prescribe them. A lot of them, especially in the private practice, would be trained therapists as well.

Even so, I would imagine that in a mental health facility such as IMH, for example, they would have psychologists and other therapists in addition to psychiatrists to suit the individual patient's needs.

Anonymous said...

Mr Wang,

You might like to pick up on this:


Mr Wang Says So said...

An email from Mr Lau to me:

"Dear Mr Wang,

I am not an expert in this field. But I will share what I know.

When asked by friends to recommend a doctor, I usually explain that what they may want to consider is cost-benefit and quality of care. For a good
cost-benefit ratio for a reasonable quality of care for a reasonable therapeutic outcome, the government hospitals beat everyone hands down across all disciplines.

For a "total package", the government hospitals give much more value. What you are looking at is "cost-benefit". I also assume that, as a whole, the
expertise of the doctors in government hospitals is on par with those in private practice. There is really nothing to suggest otherwise.

Also another issue about "cost-benefit" is that I don't believe Kleptomania is an illness that can be treated overnight. You are looking at long term treatment and consultation, with many follow ups. For long term treatment, the cost-benefit of a government hospital is much more apparant.

Your reader may want to consider the following steps:

(1) Get a referral from polyclinic.

(2) Go to a government hospital (suggest polyclinic to recommend -- they have better knowledge on waiting time, availability of services etc.) This may or may not be IMH. Ask for subsidised "class C" rates.

The purpose is four fold:

(1) it saves cost. A referral from polyclinic enables you to see a specialist at subsidised "class C" rates. You get something like 60+ % savings in some bills.

(2) many of the hospitals, if they have a psych ward, tend to operate in teams. Compare to a private clinic where the doctor is a lone ranger, you get a much more comprehensive level of care from different disciplines --
nurses, pharmacy, counsellors etc. You also get access to many different services, such as laboratory services, expensive diagnostics (like MRI, if it ever comes to that) etc.

(3) government hospitals have better access to government social services and other professional counsellors, which may be needed in this case.

(4) if complication arise (don't know what at this point), and if the person needs to be warded or go for expensive treatments, the cost is much lower.

Any thing that a private doctor refers you to or if you are being warded, you have to pay expensive private rates.

True, for subsidised patients you don't get to choose your specialist, but for a field like Kleptomania that is not considered to be a common illness
(I may be wrong), I don't think there are many specialists in that one single field alone. I somehow don't think you could build a career out of this one field alone.

Many people think that paying expensive private rates for private consultants and specialists will automatically give you a better quality of

The truth is, unless that doctor is a really really really really well known guy with lots of successful theurapeutic outcomes, or is a well known specialist in Kleptomania your reader (or his friend) is probably no better
from seeing a randomly selected specialist in a government hospital. Don't forget that the field of psychiatry is very wide, and it is not possible for
a psychiatrist to be an expert in everything, especially the less common cases. Not to mention that psychiatry is considered a more difficult branch of medicine (more "artsy" where you have to try to interpret the symptoms or
what the patient says or behaves) where therapeutic modalities changes according to "fashion" (remember electro-shock therapy or when homosexuality is considered a psychiatric illness to be treated?).

Most likely, the patient is going to become a learning experience for the doctor. If so, you may as well be in a hospital where a team of people can discuss amongst themselves and where a second opinion is more readily
available. Compare this with a lone private specialist, who have limited access to other resources.

There is only one big advantage that I can think of for private doctors: personal service. Waiting time is shorter, consultations are more private
and you get more time (billable, mind you) with the doctor. For some people, that may be important.

Of course, if there is such a private specialist who specialises in Kleptomania and has a good track record, well..... if the patient can afford it, go for it. But remember, a specialist in Kleptomania may be an expert in
that field, but his therapeutic outcome may not be any better than say a "general" psychiatrist in IMH. The patient and his family need to ask some hard questions about the doctor's history when they first meet him -- what is his expertise, what cases he has seen, what are the outcomes etc..... (which can be difficult due to our doctor-patient culture.....). And of
course, the patient and his family need to do some research for themselves in the field of Kleptomania to get a realistic therapeutic outlook."

Mr Wang Says So said...

Another email, from a reader who asked not to be named:

I work in healthcare, pecifically for the Institute of Mental Health, but I'm not a psychiatrist.

As someone did comment on your blog there is an element of
differential diagnosis, so the patient may not actually have kleptomania.

Another issue to consider is how old is the patient, if the patient is still a child, then that's another factor and they may need a child psychiatrist.

Some insightful, emphatic and professional psychiatrists I know of who work with adults are

1) Dr Pauline Sim
L P Clinic Pte Ltd
3 Mt Elizabeth #05-01 Mt Elizabeth Medical Centre Singapore 228510
Tel : 6735-4526

2) Dr Adrian Wang
Gleneagles Medical Centre #06-16
6 Napier Road
Singapore 258499
Tel: +65 6474 3836
Fax: +65 6474 9890
Emergencies: +65 6535 8833
Email: adrian@wangpsych.com


3) Dr Ko Soo Meng
at Mt Alvernia Hospital

(sorry I couldn't find any other info) - the website says to call 6347 6788

These three doctors have been recommended by colleagues. In Dr Ko's case that was a while ago when he was still working in NUH.(2002)

Do let the patient know that finding a doctor who's a good "fit" is important, especially in something like psychiatry cos it's more subjective than other types of medicine in the inter-personal way.

If cost is an issue for the patient, then IMH is definitely an option they may want to explore."

Mr Wang Says So said...

Another email - this one is from a friend & ex-colleague of mine who also reads this blog:


Sorry for the late response - here's a recommendation for a psychiatrist:
Dr Clarice Hong
Raffles Hospital
Tel: 6311 2330.

She's in the counselling section in the hospital. I understand she's got a good reputation in the field for dealing with children but she certainly accepts adults as well."

Anonymous said...

I would STRONGLY RECOMMEND the Psychiatrist Dr Ang Yong Guan from Ang Yong Guan Psychiatry, Level 11 of Paragon Medical Centre. Dr Ang is very helpful in this area. Tel is 67380808.