A British author and journalist has pledged to continue his inquiry into his wife's death in a public hospital - despite failing to find suitable answers in a year-long investigation. Martin Jacques said his decision to leave Hong Kong on March 5 did not spell the end of his fight for an explanation of the death of his Indian wife, Harinder Veriah, on January 2 last year. Veriah, who worked in Hong Kong for the London-based law firm Lovells, had a fit and collapsed on January 1 - a day after her 33rd birthday - while celebrating the Millennium in Causeway Bay. She was taken to Ruttonjee Hospital, where she suffered another fit on January 2 and died two hours later. Mr Jacques said an 'out-of-character' complaint by his wife before her death about being at the 'bottom of the pile' at the hospital because of her race warranted more than a spontaneous letter of denial and a refusal to investigate. 'Not only did Hong Kong kill Hari but she's going to be denied justice as well,' he said. The Hospital Authority has said staff have also suffered and have been the subject of 'unfair comments' and 'unfounded allegations'. A spokesman for the Hospital Authority, on behalf of Ruttonjee Hospital, said a verdict of death by natural causes was recorded at an inquest in November. 'The coroner commented that the allegation of racial discrimination by the husband of Ms Veriah was only an assertion by him and was not substantiated by any evidence,' he said. Mr Jacques, who accuses the hospital of hiding behind a remark made in passing by the coroner, said: 'The coroner made no attempt to inquire into whether or not my wife suffered racial discrimination in hospital.' Mr Jacques said he was simply repeating at the inquest the allegation of racial discrimination made by his wife. 'She said, 'I am bottom of the pile here'. I was very shocked and said, 'What do you mean?' She said, 'I am Indian and everyone else here is Chinese'. 'On the basis of what Hari said to me and knowing her as I did, I have no doubt that she suffered serious discrimination in that hospital. But the hospital just denies it and refuses to investigate it.' The Hospital Authority spokesman said Mr Jacques was not the only one who had suffered because of the death. 'The health-care providers in the Ruttonjee Hospital have also suffered in the case - they also faced the sudden death of a patient under their care,' he said. 'What is more, they have to put up with unfair comments and unfounded allegations targeted at them. 'Since racism is absolutely no part of a public hospital, we do not have to specify it in any rules and regulations.' Medical staff are, however, bound by the Declaration of Geneva and a Code of Professional Conduct that stipulates considerations of religion, nationality, race, party, politics or social standings shall not intervene with their duty. The Equal Opportunities Commission received 64 allegations of racial discrimination between January and the end of November last year, compared with 62 complaints between 1996 and 1999. In the absence of anti-racism legislation the commission has no authority to act on complaints, referring them instead to the Home Affairs Bureau. 'The bureau investigated 14 complaints of racial discrimination last year, compared to nine cases in 1999 and 11 cases in 1998,' said a spokeswoman. 'We frequently discover that most complaints about racial discrimination were caused by misunderstandings rather than actual discrimination.' The rising number of complaints and cases has fuelled renewed debate on the absence of a law protecting Hong Kong residents. Next Sunday, a day before Mr Jacques and his 2.5-year-old son Ravi are due to leave for London, a group of 10 people from different ethnic origins, including Christine Loh Kung-wai, the founding member of the Hong Kong Against Race Discrimination group, will meet to discuss the need for legislation. The group plans to launch a campaign calling on the Government to act on the issue.