A doctor who took his girlfriend into an operating theatre to watch him perform surgery may be disciplined by Chinese University of Hong Kong and Prince of Wales Hospital.
The hospital said yesterday that Professor Alex Fan Hoi, an assistant professor in the university's department of opthalmology and visual sciences, broke the rules when he took the woman into the theatre without permission to watch him conduct an emergency corneal transplant on April 24. His girlfriend is a postgraduate student at CUHK.
There were three other medical staff members in the room.
A hospital spokeswoman said visitors were allowed into operating theatres 'but only for teaching or research purposes, and after obtaining permission from both the hospital and the university'.
She said the hospital was considering whether any disciplinary action should be taken and contacted Chinese University for follow-up action.
The girlfriend neither touched the patient, nor was she involved in the operation, she said.
'Medical records show that the patient was not affected in any way by her presence,' she said. The patient had been discharged and was recovering well, she said.
CUHK's medical faculty said last night that it would not comment on this case or person as an investigation was continuing. 'Our faculty will prudently assess and take any disciplinary action under the principle of fairness and justice,' it said.
A letter had been sent to opthalmology department staff reminding them to strictly comply with the hospital and mecial faculty's protocols related to visitors in operating theatres.
The rules state that non-medical staff visiting an operating theatre shall not affect the operation procedures or patients and prior approval from the hospital or university departments concerned must be given.