Doctor banned by Medical Council for secret photos of women patients

PUBLISHED : Monday, 05 November, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 05 November, 2012, 5:45am

A private doctor was found guilty of professional misconduct and permanently deregistered after he secretly took pictures of six women patients and improperly touched the breasts and private parts of five of them.

It is the harshest penalty yet handed down by the Medical Council, the profession's ruling body.

Dr Christopher Tong Yung-man, 33, was convicted on 11 counts of failing to meet the professional standard for medical practitioners. He was acquitted on one count of the same charge.

The council overturned a previous acquittal of an allegation that had followed a complaint from one of the victims.

The council described Tong as "scandalous and unethical" after he was found to have several cameras in his Tai Wai clinic.

A total of 34 photos and seven videos of six patients taken in 2007 and 2008 were found.

The council was told the videos and photos were taken without the knowledge of the patients. It also said Tong did not wear gloves when he touched the patients, which had put the women at risk of infection. In mitigation, defence counsel Gerard McCoy SC said his client was married in 2010. He has one child and his wife was pregnant with another. He said Tong earned HK$80,000 a month.

"He [Tong] has never taken any photos of his patients since then [2008]," McCoy said.

Tong was acquitted in August 2010 of a criminal charge of indecent assault involving a 32-year-old woman who alleged he touched her and took a photo.

Deputy Magistrate Poon Chin-chiu said at Sha Tin Court that he believed Tong was an inexperienced doctor, who had graduated from university only in 2004. He said he could not rule out that the alleged attack was actually a genuine examination.

However, he said it was foolish of Tong to conduct the intimate examination without a chaperone.