Panel backs hospital's suspension of surgeon

PUBLISHED : Friday, 24 January, 2014, 4:18am
UPDATED : Saturday, 19 September, 2015, 10:43pm

An investigation panel supported the decision by the Prince of Wales Hospital to suspend a prominent cardiologist from performing surgery after the hospital received complaints from other surgeons questioning the quality of his work.

The report by the hospital's governing committee said the decision not to allow Dr Yu Cheuk-man to operate was reasonable and that it was not a disciplinary action against him. It said the hospital's decision to suspend him until investigations were complete was based on the consideration of patients' safety.

As for the mismanagement complaint raised by Yu against two senior doctors in the hospital, including the former chief executive Dr Fung Hong, the report said the accusation was not substantiated as the decision was made by the Chinese University's medical faculty.

Yu was suspended in February last year after the hospital received complaints from surgeons about the quality of his operations, including suggestions some of his patients suffered serious complications.

The report, which was submitted to the Hospital Authority and Yu on Tuesday and will not be made public, said the hospital could have handled Yu's case better and taken less time to review his operations. A Hospital Authority spokesman said the hospital would act on the report's conclusions and recommendations as appropriate.

The report will have no influence on whether or not Yu can resume his duties.

Last night Yu said the report was hard to understand and unverifiable. Its content was not comprehensive and some of it was untrue. He would be talking to his lawyer on follow-up action.

Since the saga began, the authority and the Sha Tin public hospital have set up three different panels to review Yu's performance and the overall performance of the whole cardiology department. The reviews are still ongoing. The fourth panel was set up to review the hospital's handling of Yu's suspension.