The Hospital Authority yesterday denied providing substandard care to a comatose man whose parents claim they must sleep in chairs beside his bed to provide 24-hour care. Alexander Wong Hoi-tang, 39, has been in a vegetative state since being given an accidental overdose of the painkiller lignocaine at Queen Mary Hospital on July 17, 1993, after complaining of chest pains. The Hospital Authority admitted liability in 1996 and, after treating Mr Wong for two months at Queen Mary Hospital, transferred him to Tung Wah Hospital, which is also public. Mr Wong's family are seeking an estimated $60 million in damages to enable home-based care or to pay for her son's treatment in a private hospital. Counsel for the Hospital Authority, John Bleach, SC, told the Court of First Instance that Tung Wah Hospital did not provide a substandard service to Mr Wong, and it was his parents who had insisted on taking over tasks such as feeding and bathing. Neurologist Dr Yu Yuk-ling, called by Mr Bleach, told the court he had interviewed hospital staff and Mr Wong's parents. He said although Mr Wong's mother, Lau Kwai-kwan, 67, was dissatisfied with the 'service' at Tung Wah, her son did not require round-the-clock attention. The court heard that Ms Lau and her husband, Wong Man-sheung, 70, slept on chairs and a cot-bed beside their son's hospital bed so they could be with him 24 hours a day. Dr Yu agreed with a report tendered by neurosurgeon Dr Brian Choa, in which Dr Choa said there was no signal to the cortex of Mr Wong's brain or responses to external stimuli, 'notwithstanding the mother's belief'. Counsel for the Wong family, Neville Sarony, SC, said the family was not criticising the standard of doctors and nurses at Tung Wah, but they were restricted by the funds available to the public hospital. The case continues before Mr Justice Conrad Seagroatt.