THE Court of Appeal may get tougher with doctors found guilty of mishandling drugs records following amendments to the professional code of practice, the Medical Council said yesterday. Three out of six appeal cases won a more lenient punishment from the court this year. A doctor banned by the council from practising for one year was granted a suspended sentence. The other two had their three-month bans reduced to sentences suspended for one and two years respectively. Medical Council chairman Professor Rosie Young Tse-tse said the courts had a different interpretation of improper handling of drugs records. 'The court considers the matter not serious. It thinks the doctors are only being careless,' she said. 'But the council thinks the doctors are dishonorable and irresponsible.' Proposed amendments seek to empower the council to seize doctors' records to see how dangerous drugs are handled. At present, doctors are not obliged to hand over records. And doctors will be charged with the more serious offence of failing to give bona-fide treatment instead of failing to keep proper records. This year the council received 177 complaints - only 14 were finally referred for disciplinary hearings.