'Surgeon on phone' testimony

Felix Chan

A patient who revealed that a dcotor had chatted on a mobile phone while performing keyhole surgery on him gave evidence to a Hospital Authority panel yesterday.

Taxi driver Chung Chi-cheong said his 2.5-hour meeting with the authority's public complaints committee went 'extremely well'.

'Their questions were quite thorough and wide-ranging which explains why the meeting was lengthy,' he said. 'They were particularly interested in the content of the telephone conversation, my mental fitness at the time of the incident, and the way the hospital concerned has handled the case.' The Queen Mary Hospital doctor has admitted having a phone conversation while operating on Mr Chung to remove a polyp from his colon in May. Mr Chung says he heard the surgeon discussing a car sale.

During the operation, the colon was torn and a second operation was needed the same day for inflammation of the abdominal wall.

The doctor has been suspended from clinical duties.

Mr Chung said he was told he would receive a reply from the committee about his case in six to eight weeks.