SINGAPORE, Oct 12 — A family physician who kept his consultation charges low for elderly and vulnerable residents in MacPherson, and was well-regarded in the community, has died due to Covid-19 complications.
The doctor, 65-year-old general practitioner Raymond Yuen, worked at Hosanna Medical Centre at Block 51, Circuit Road in Macpherson.
He had been a family physician for more than 30 years.
In response to TODAY’s queries, the Ministry of Health (MOH) confirmed that a 65-year-old GP died on Saturday and he was one of the 11 Singaporeans whose deaths were reported by the ministry on the same day in its nightly update on the coronavirus situation here.
The ministry expressed its condolences to the family of the doctor, whom it did not name.
Yuen is believed to be the first doctor here to die of Covid-19.
In a report by Chinese news portal 8world on Monday, it quoted an attendant at the clinic saying that Yuen likely caught the infection from a patient.
However, MOH in its reply to the media said there is “no evidence” that the doctor had been infected by a Covid-19 patient.
“His clinic is neither a Public Health Preparedness Clinic nor a Swab-and-Send-Home Clinic for Covid-19. We also have no records that his clinic saw any Covid-19 patients recently,” said MOH.
Yuen was partially vaccinated against Covid-19 with a non-messenger ribonucleic acid vaccine approved under the ministry’s Special Access Route and had no known medical conditions, said MOH.
According to his profile on the 365 Cancer Prevention Education Association’s website, where he was the honorary assistant secretary, Yuen had more than 30 years of experience as a family physician.
He completed his Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery at the University of Hong Kong in 1987, and received a postgraduate degree in medicine from National University of Singapore in 1992.
Tin Pei Ling, who is the Member of Parliament for MacPherson, said in a post on Facebook that she was “deeply saddened to learn of the passing of a caring GP in MacPherson”.
Though she did not name Yuen, Tin said she learned about his contributions to the community from residents in the ward who used to be patients at his clinic.
“They shared about how the affable doctor made visits to the clinic less intimidating. They enjoyed the small talks and tips on leading a healthy and holistic lifestyle, which he was so passionate about,” she said.
Tin added that Yuen had considered the population of elderly and vulnerable residents in MacPherson in keeping his consultation charges low.
Residents knew that he did so out of sincerity and care for their well-being. Many of his patients became friends with him.
“Many of us are moved by his benevolence to the community. Our thoughts are with his family. I sincerely hope that the family will find the strength to overcome the grief,” she said.
A Facebook user known as David Lam had posted about Yuen’s death in a Facebook group for users in Hong Kong, saying that his good friend, a Singaporean doctor, had died due to complications from the coronavirus.
He wrote in Mandarin that he and Yuen, who was born in Hong Kong, had grown up together in church in the 1980s and the news of Yuen’s passing had made him cry.
“Do not let your guard down. Underestimate Covid-19 and it will take our lives,” he said. — TODAY