Darren Yaw was the CEO of SLM Visioncare Group, according to his LinkedIn page. An event listed on Maybank’s website mentioned that he is a doctor with a PhD in Alternative Medicine.
The Health Sciences Authority has launched an investigation into the claims made by SLM Visioncare and ICC Visioncare in relation to their main service of myopia and astigmatism treatment.
According to a report by TODAY, Singaporean law has specifically prohibited advertising or marketing medical treatments for diseases. Dr. Lam Pin Min, director of Eagle Eye Center and who is a former Senior Minister of State for Health, has mentioned that he was not aware of any physiotherapy treatment that could correct myopia or astigmatism.
SLM Visioncare, on their website, said that, “Our therapy are especially effective for children between 6 to 16 years old in treating various eye conditions, such as myopia, astigmatism, far-sightedness, strabismus and amblyopia. Our method helps you to improve your vision with no adverse side effects! No surgery, no injection and no medicine for the whole process.”
What do other doctors and health officials say about Darren Yaw’s SLM Visioncare?
According to the same report from TODAY, the vice president of the Singapore Optometric Association said that the services offered by SLM Visioncare in their packages which involved magnetic oscillation along with other terms were not scientifically proven to help with treating myopia, astigmatism, and farsightedness.
She also said that since some of these conditions are time-sensitive, it was dangerous to leave the treatment to firms with unproven claims.
Dr. Jerry Tan, an eye surgeon, said that myopia comes from the shape of the corneas, which could either be too long or too curved. Selling any cure, he said, was akin to “selling snake oil.”
The MOH had received six complaints about the firm, while the HSA received two.
What do customers have to say?
According to the same report, customers have mentioned that some of their children who underwent treatment in the firm have not seen any improvements, while others said the condition worsened.
One customer claimed that he had spent almost $2,500 and sent his son three times a week for three months to have an eye condition corrected, but saw no improvement. A public hospital also declared that the eye condition had worsened.
After seeing an advertisement on Facebook for a treatment package, a customer spent $3,800 to have their six-year-old cured for an eye condition. They ended up filing a complaint with Consumer Association of Singapore or CASE.
So far, CASE mentioned that they have had eleven consumer complaints about the firm.
Employee complaints on websites
According to company ratings website Glassdoor, SLM Visioncare received 3 out of 5 stars.
Half of the anonymous respondents on the site said that the company CEO, Darren Yaw, made working there difficult, while the other half said that working at the company has been a positive experience, even if the work was demanding.
One reviewer said that the company “scams parents” and that the claims made were lies. Another reviewer said that the company had good management and it was fun to work there.
SLM Visioncare responds
The same report form TODAY also reported successful treatments, with one customer saying that he spent $1,900 on a treatment package and that his eleven-year-old had improved vision. She also did not need to wear glasses any longer.
“We have always made it known to customers that results may vary from person to person, depending on the diligence of each customer in adhering to the instructions and practices that have been recommended,” said SLM Visioncare.
Aside from the treatments, the company said that they required their customers to follow a strict eye exercise thirty minutes everyday and that they should actively correct their bad eye habits. The company mentioned that the adverse claims were coming only from ex-employees who were trying to put up a competing firm.
Header image from SLM Visioncare website