European experts clear suspended cardiologist Yu Cheuk-man

Hong Kong specialist relieved as panel finds no evidence of any faults in 11 operations

PUBLISHED : Monday, 20 January, 2014, 5:08am
UPDATED : Monday, 20 January, 2014, 5:08am

Six European experts who investigated the case of suspended Prince of Wales Hospital cardiologist Professor Yu Cheuk-man have found no evidence of malpractice, a Medical Association report says.

Yu has been suspended for almost a year after complaints by surgeons at the hospital that 11 of his operations last year had resulted in serious complications. In four of the cases, the patients later died.

Yu, who is in his forties, stood down as head of cardiology when the complaints emerged in February. But the experts from Switzerland, Germany, Belgium and Britain found no evidence of impropriety and even said that two of the operations were "well performed".

The Medical Association has given a copy of the report to the Hospital Authority, which has set up two panels: one to review Yu's work and the other to look at the clinical performance of the department as a whole.

Another copy has been sent to Chinese University, where Yu also works as an assistant dean, and a third to Yu himself.

Yu welcomed the report, adding: "I hope this credible report can show I did nothing wrong and that the Hospital Authority will lift my suspension as soon as possible."

Association president Dr Tse Hung-hing said the full report would not be made public and the association would not comment on it.

Yu admitted he knew a few of the six experts, but did not believe this affected their findings.

He previously argued that the patients who suffered complications were aged between 70 and 88 and had other health risks, making them more likely to suffer complications after angioplasty.

He said three of those who died did so more than 30 days after their operations, and after contracting other diseases. The heart of the fourth patient was in an extremely poor condition before operation.

The Sha Tin hospital is investigating the decision by its former chief, Dr Fung Hong, to suspend Yu, after Yu complained he had been punished before an investigation.

Another committee, also set up by the Hospital Authority, is reviewing procedures for the suspension of doctors.

The Hospital Authority said it was aware of the report and its committees were continuing their work on the case.