A doctor was cleared last night of allegations he behaved unprofessionally by talking on his mobile phone while performing surgery. After a lengthy hearing, the Medical Council ruled there was no evidence Dr Tung Hiu-ming had intended to receive the call, and, when it did come through, he took steps to stop it and concentrate on the operation. The council also accepted Dr Tung had forgotten he was wearing a hands-free headset that was still turned on. Council chairman Dr Lee Kin-hung said: 'The call was not made deliberately, rather [it was made] inadvertently. There was no evidence that Dr Tung intended to receive the call.' He said the evidence of the complaining patient - taxi driver Gary Chung Chi-cheong - was highly unreliable because he was under the influence of sedatives and painkillers at the time. After the ruling Dr Tung said: 'It's time for me to get it over with. There are other things in my life. It is time to go back to work.' He has been suspended from his post for four months and said he would not be appealing against the hospital's decision to suspend him. He had been accused of disregarding his professional responsibility. Dr Tung - of the department of surgery at Queen Mary Hospital - had earlier told the hearing the conversation consisted of his telling a colleague he was busy, despite records showing the call lasted 13 minutes. The council heard that on May 13, 1999, Dr Tung engaged in a phone conversation while performing keyhole surgery to remove small growths from Mr Chung's large intestine. Mr Chung, 47, said the doctor had been talking on his phone about buying a BMW. He claimed that because of inattentiveness by Dr Tung, he suffered a perforated bowel and had to have an emergency operation. Dr Tung denied the call was about cars and said the conversation centred on his telling a doctor friend he was busy. The doctor said he had been searching for a second polyp that had dropped back into Mr Chung's intestine, when he realised he had a call. 'I heard voices coming from the ear piece. I told the caller 'I'm doing something'.' he said. The other end became silent and as he was so engrossed in the surgery he did not realise the caller was still on the line. 'All of a sudden there was a voice [saying] 'I don't want to wait any longer'. I said: 'I'm still doing a procedure. Please hang up'.' Earlier yesterday Mr Chung said he was lying on the operating table when he heard someone talking. He turned his head and saw Dr Tung 'wearing a kind of mike similar to [that which] pop stars wear in concerts', describing the ear piece that the doctor wore on his right ear. 'I heard Dr Tung talking about buying a car at that time. Dr Tung said the Japanese car would cost $160,000-odd [but] would not do for him. A European car was more appropriate, a silver-coloured BMW would be right,' said Mr Chung, who said he was awake throughout the operation. But last night Dr Lee said there was no evidence to support Mr Chung's recollection. A female doctor, who the council ordered not to be named, agreed with Dr Tung's version that he had not spoken about cars. However, she remembered Dr Tung telling her he was 'almost through' and that was why she had waited on the line. An endoscopist called by the council, Dr Yuen Hon, said the bowel perforation was not a result of negligence, but was the commonest complication of colonoscopy.