TIPS to improve contingency plans for public hospitals may be included in the report on the Lan Kwai Fong tragedy, Mr Justice Bokhary said yesterday. After a one-hour visit to the Queen Mary hospital, which handled most of the seriously injured, Mr Justice Bokhary said he thought the hospitals had coped with the situation very well. He said he wanted to find out if the crisis had stretched contingency plans to the limit or allowed a margin, and said recommendations would be made if necessary. Accompanied by Dr Leung Man-po, consultant in charge of accident and emergency services at Queen Mary, Mr Justice Bokhary said: ''I want to find out from them whether they managed to cope with the scale of the disaster.'' He also discussed with doctors information which had already been submitted and asked more questions to clarify the situation. Despite the huge volume of research and information involved, Mr Justice Bokhary assured the public that the preliminary report could be completed by January 18. Yesterday, he spent 15 minutes with a female patient who he said was not too badly hurt. She suffered hand injuries. He was told that there were people beneath her and above her before she lost consciousness. She told him she heard some people screaming before the disaster happened and said the mood of the crowd was mixed. Mr Justice Bokhary has so far collected 20 eyewitness accounts, studied hospital records, photographs and correspondence and met police representatives to discuss submissions. Meanwhile, four Lan Kwai Fong bars which served alcohol without drinks licences will receive warnings and ''strong advice'', a senior police source said yesterday. Regulations require that a public complaint must be registered before police can launch an investigation and bring charges. The lack of manpower meant police were unable to prosecute unless the complaints were made, the source said. And the serving of alcohol without a licence was a popularly accepted custom throughout the territory, he added. The bars - Brown Sugar, Chapters, Le Jardin and American Pie - served beer to a South China Morning Post reporter on Tuesday. They all have applications before the Liquor Licensing Board. At least one of the bars, Brown Sugar, had been previously charged on two occasions for selling liquor without a licence, according to the police. But such practices were unavoidable, several Lan Kwai Fong bar and restaurant operators claimed. One entrepreneur involved in the area defended the practice, particularly in Lan Kwai Fong. The combination of high rents and delays of up to six months in the processing of licence applications has led bar and restaurant owners to run the gauntlet. ''It has happened to me many times where I've waited for the inspectors six months after the place was opened to come and look at the bar or restaurant,'' he said. ''When you have to pay rent, it is better to pay a few fines than to go out of business while waiting for the licence.'' However, a Liquor Licensing Board spokesman said yesterday that the regulations must be followed. Anyone caught selling liquor without a licence would have a black mark against their application and would be prosecuted, he said. The maximum penalty on conviction is $50,000 and 12 months' jail. Some members of the Lan Kwai Fong Association admit they have operated their establishments prior to getting their licences, but the association's vice-chairman, Mr Barry Kalb objected to any link between such practices and the tragedy, which claimed thelives of 20 people in the early hours of New Year's Day. ''It is unfair to suggest that these places did anything wrong that night. The incident took place in a localised area away from those bars,'' Mr Kalb said.