Ambulancemen, doctors charged with falsifying HK$72,000 in claims

Fire service workers accused of running scam with traditional medicine practitioners

PUBLISHED : Friday, 24 January, 2014, 3:41pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 25 January, 2014, 4:32am

Two fire-service ambulance workers fraudulently claimed more than HK$72,000 in medical expenses for visits to a pair of Chinese medicine practitioners, a court heard yesterday.

Lam Kwok-keung and Tam Chun-hing, both 54, of the Fire Services Department, and the Chinese medicine doctors Lie Pok-ha, 72, and Ho Wing-kam, 65, were charged in Kwun Tong Court with conspiring to defraud the government and an insurance company over the course of two years.

All four denied allegations that they had colluded to claim the reimbursements using false receipts.

The court heard that Lam and Tam had visited the Chinese medicine practitioners after injuring their backs while on duty in November 2010 and March 2011, respectively.

Lam, who filed for HK$50,880 in medical expenses, claimed to have consulted Ho four times and Lie 19 times at a Yau Tong dispensary. He submitted bills for consultation fees and for herbal medicine that ranged from HK$280 to HK$3,000.

Tam claimed HK$21,200 for seven consultations with Ho between September 2011 and April 2012.

On each consultation he claimed to have been prescribed two-week courses of herbal medicine that cost about HK$3,000.

The Fire Services Department grants workers medical expenses of up to HK$200 a day for injuries suffered at work.

Stephen Leung, of the Independent Commission Against Corruption, said the case was investigated following a complaint by the Fire Services Department.

The court did not hear whether the consultations and prescriptions were relevant to the pair's injuries, nor was the insurance company identified.

Principal Magistrate Ernest Lin Kam-hung released the four on bail. They will appear in court again on March 3.