Medic jailed for molesting teen at Tuen Mun Hospital can still practise

The Medical Council has taken three years to rule a doctor jailed for groping a patient can work under strict supervision

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 05 September, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 05 September, 2012, 2:29am

The Medical Council yesterday ordered a doctor to be supervised while he works, almost three years after he was convicted for molesting a patient in a public hospital.

Dr Lo Chung-hong, 29, was released from jail in August 2010 and has been working in the private medical sector since October of that year.

Professor Felice Lieh-Mak, temporary chairman of the council, acknowledged that the body had been slow in arranging the disciplinary hearing.

"Such a delay is unfair to patients, their family, and even the doctors involved," she said outside the hearing.

She explained it had been difficult to find a hearing time that suited all council members, especially since only two of the four non-doctor council members were eligible to attend.

She urged the government to increase the number of non-doctor council members to speed up the handling of cases.

The backlog currently extends into early 2014.

In February 2009, Lo pulled up a 15-year-old patient's dress and bra and pressed on her breasts in Tuen Mun Hospital's emergency ward. She had complained of abdominal pain, diarrhoea and vomiting, the court heard.

He denied having pulled up her bra and touched her breasts, but the court accepted the patient's evidence.

Lo was convicted of indecent assault in October that year at Fanling Court and served a nine-month jail sentence.

The Medical Council opened its hearing into the case in April this year.

After considering Lo's psychological report and character references, it ordered him yesterday to be removed from the general register for one year.

The order was suspended for three years on the condition that he practises under supervision and performs physical examinations on patients only when accompanied.

This means Lo's licence will not be suspended and he can continue to practise as long as he follows the conditions over the next three years.

"We are of the view the defendant has learned a hard lesson and will take particular caution to stay within the bounds of proper medical practice," Lieh-Mak said.

Lo's employer, who has supervised him for over a year, said they believed he is fit to practise as a family doctor and deserves another opportunity to resume his medical career.

He was found to have no sexual deviation, abnormal sexual arousal or devious sexual intent, after psychological assessments ordered by the council.

Lo can start work again only after he has found a supervisor and is approved by the council.

The supervising doctor must have at least 10 years of experience in Hong Kong and will have to report to the council regularly about Lo's professional conduct.