Doctor denies drug error

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 12 July, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 12 July, 2012, 12:00am

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A doctor denied inappropriately prescribing steroids and antibiotics with potentially serious side effects to an elderly flu patient when a Medical Council hearing into his conduct opened yesterday.

Dr Lee Chiu-tong, who did not have a lawyer and said he was bankrupt, denied professional misconduct and said he believed the patient had a fever, asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. He did not say how he diagnosed these.

Angel Yeung On-kei told the hearing Lee prescribed her father Yeung Wing-shek, 76, 12 drugs after a consultation in July 2008.

'There were several kinds of painkillers. I doubted whether he needed all those drugs,' Yeung said. She said she and her brother had stopped their father taking the drugs and asked him not to go to Lee's clinic again. 'It was for the benefit of others that I decided to file a complaint about Dr Lee,' she said

Lee rejected Yeung's comments. 'Do you think you are a doctor?' he asked. 'Your father was sick. Were you trying to murder him [by stopping him from taking the medicine]?'

But Dr Daniel Chu Wai-sing, head of family medicine and primary health care for public hospitals in the east of Hong Kong Island, said he saw no reason for the use of antibiotics and steroids in Yeung's case.

Chu said that based on Angel Yeung's description of her father's condition and his medical records he appeared to have had an upper respiratory tract infection.

'You are lucky the patient didn't suffer side effects,' Chu told Lee. 'And this doesn't mean this way of prescription is right. The fact the patient is well doesn't mean it's right.'

One antibiotic, chloramphenicol, had potential side effects that included a severe kind of anaemia.

The hearing was adjourned until September 1.