Suen accuses hospital of failure to protect privacy

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 08 May, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 08 May, 2012, 12:00am


Secretary for Education Michael Suen Ming-yeung has accused Queen Mary Hospital of failing to protect his medical records when he had a tumour removed last month.

Suen also refused to confirm if the tumour on his thyroid was malignant. He said he wanted to keep some privacy on the state of his health, which has drawn public attention since he was found to be suffering from kidney failure in April last year.

Suen said he was concerned about how the public hospital in Pok Fu Lam protected patients' privacy.

'Even before I was discharged [on April 27], people [from the media] already knew what tumour I had removed,' he said. 'The Queen Mary Hospital has not done its best as a gatekeeper. I would like to have a little bit of privacy.'

Suen said his wife, Rita, was distressed when media people called her asking about his condition.

A spokeswoman for the hospital said they had questioned staff members who handled the relevant medical records. 'We will report to the complainant after the investigation,' she said. 'If the patient's record is confirmed to have been leaked, we will take disciplinary action.'

The minister was speaking at a media briefing on electronic books for schools yesterday when he was asked if he had received the result of laboratory tests on the tumour.

Refusing to comment on the type of tumour, he said: 'If I need to confirm or deny whatever emerges, I will be in the newspapers every day.'

Suen said he needed no chemical therapy and only had to take an iodine solution according to his doctor's advice. He also said his health was fine.

In December, Suen contracted legionnaires' disease through water contamination at the Admiralty government complex. He suffered a broken arm when he fell at home in March. Days later, he returned to hospital for hernia repair surgery.