Doctor blames incorrect receipt on rush to lunch

PUBLISHED : Friday, 01 June, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 01 June, 2007, 12:00am

A doctor accused of issuing a 'misleading and untrue' receipt disguising charges for skincare products as a consultation fee told the Medical Council he wrote the wrong amount on the receipt while rushing out for lunch.

In August 2005, patient So Yee-wa saw Chan Kai-ming, of GHC Medical Centre's clinic in Cheung Sha Wan, for a shoulder sprain and bruises following a work accident.

Ms So paid HK$3,710 for items including the consultation, medication, a pre-paid X-ray fee, and skincare products, but Dr Chan issued her a receipt for only HK$2,000.

Ms So previously testified to the council that Dr Chan told her she could submit a claim for the skincare products to her insurer.

Dr Chan yesterday said he accidentally put down the wrong amount as he did not check the medical record when he billed Ms So.

'I was rushing for lunch,' he said.

Ms So yesterday said Dr Chan explained to her that the difference would be listed in another receipt when she came for a follow-up visit three days later.

However, she said that after returning home, she received seven calls from the clinic asking her to return the skincare products and cancel the transaction.

She said the clinic explained that Dr Chan feared the sale would seem suspicious as the clinic had never made such a large sale.

However, Dr Chan said he asked Ms So to return to the clinic because he realised after lunch that he had written the wrong amount on her receipt and should have issued an itemised bill.

He said it was common practice to check the payment spreadsheet when the afternoon session started.

Dr Chan also said he was unfamiliar with issuing receipts at that time because he had just started private practice about two weeks earlier.

He said it was Ms So who asked to return the products after he told her he would itemise the bill. He said that when she returned to the clinic about 9pm, she said she could not submit a claim to her insurer if he itemised her bill.

Dr Chan was also accused of issuing Ms So a three-day sick leave note in the afternoon but replacing it with a one-day certificate when she returned the skincare products in the evening.

He yesterday explained that he initially gave her three days so she would have time to consult a specialist, but later decided he would leave it to the specialist to decide how much additional sick leave was warranted for her injuries.

The hearing will continue.