Doctor accused of misconduct over burns

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 23 January, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 23 January, 2007, 12:00am

A gynaecologist accused of accidentally burning a woman's vulva while treating a disease she did not have told the Medical Council yesterday that the patient had given her approval before she performed the thermal treatment.

The 62-year-old doctor, Gan Mie Fang, diagnosed the patient as having contracted a venereal disease on May 23, 2005, and conducted an electrocautery operation on the woman's vulva at her clinic in Tsuen Wan.

However, the patient, whom the council ordered to be named only as Madam A, told the hearing on December 1 that she had no idea Dr Gan was performing the operation when she injected an anaesthetic into her genitals.

The patient said she thought the injection was medication to stop itching. The woman, who broke down in tears during the hearing, said that Dr Gan told her to be quiet so as not to scare patients in the waiting room.

She claimed the painful treatment ended in 'two seconds' and said she was burned at least twice.

Dr Gan, defending herself against a count of medical misconduct at yesterday's hearing, said it was impossible to perform the operation if the patient did not 'fully co-operate'.

'How could any doctor finish an operation in two seconds?' she said. 'It is plainly impossible for me to do it if the patient was in pain, because she would move around and I might burn her elsewhere.

'If she did not open her legs, how am I able to touch her?'

Dr Gan said a friend of Madam A returned to the clinic that night to demand the return of HK$600 in medical charges.

Another doctor who treated Madam A the day after the incident, told the council at the same December 1 hearing that the patient was suffering from a common vaginal infection and showed no signs of bumps on her vulva characteristic of a venereal disease.

The case was adjourned to February 2 for a verdict.