Health supplement chief guilty of misconduct

Medical Council hands suspended sentence to Dr Helen Chan, the head of Vita Green

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 24 April, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 24 April, 2013, 4:05am

The Medical Council has removed the chief executive of a well known health supplement company from the doctor's General Register for one month after finding her guilty of misrepresenting her qualifications.

The sentence has been suspended for six months.

Dr Helen Chan Hei-ling, chief executive of Vita Green Health Products Company, was found guilty of professional misconduct for using "specialist in paediatrics and allergy" as her title in her documents. But her name was not included in the specialist register under those areas.

Chan, sister of veteran singer Dr Agnes Chan Mei-ling, had told the council she was "old school" and "very stupid" as she had been unaware of the existence of a specialist registry in Hong Kong at the time.

The council's temporary chairman, Dr Cheng Chi-man, said: "We have great reservation in accepting such a claim, as such claimed stupidity is inconsistent with her ability to acquire several professional fellowships and her impressive curriculum vitae."

Chan presented seven letters of mitigation to the council written by doctors who knew her personally, including University of Hong Kong microbiologist Professor Yuen Kwok-yung, who praised her character and contribution to charities and public service.

Chan had used the specialist title on a fax cover in a letter to the Medical Council in 2007, regarding her application to be a specialist, and failed to prevent its appearance in a medical report to a patient in 2006. She had signed both documents.

She argued she did not know the title had been used as it was a letterhead template created by secretaries at the 813 Medical Centre in Central where she practiced.

Prosecuting officer Mark Chan Hoi-cheung said the secretaries should have approached her in creating her template.

He doubted how she could have not known about the Medical Council's specialist registry set up in 1996.

She only realised that there was a problem when one of her patients told her that he was unable to get a reimbursement because she wasn't a registered specialist.