THE Medical Council was right to impose a 'severe' penalty on a doctor who helped cheat the Government out of $18.7 million, the Court of Appeal said yesterday. David Chow Siu-shek, 46, was banned from the profession for three years after serving a two-year prison sentence for his crimes. He appealed against the Medical Council's decision, saying he had already been punished and should be allowed to return to work sooner. In giving their reasons for dismissing his appeal, Mr Justice Nazareth, Mr Justice Bokhary and Mr Justice Liu said the ban was appropriate. 'The damage in terms of the medical profession, the seriousness of the misconduct, the nature and effect of the mitigating circumstances and, indeed, the question of the appropriate penalty were all matters the Medical Council was peculiarly well-placed to assess,' the judges said. Chow violated a government scheme to provide medical services for school children, conspiring with other doctors between 1985 and 1988 in order to treat far more children than the Schools Medical Board allowed. The court heard doctors received $75 for each patient. The Government paid $65 and the patient $10. Each doctor could treat only 3,500 students. But Chow used the names of other doctors, without their knowledge, to receive payment for extra patients. He was jailed for two years in November 1990 after being found guilty of conspiracy to defraud. Last year, he was struck off the register for three years.