The Hospital Authority has been asked to release receipts to prove it ordered enough protective gear for frontline staff early in the Sars outbreak. Legislator Emily Lau Wai-hing made the demand yesterday after being told that the authority had an 'ample stock' of protective gear to meet the needs of its frontline staff. Speaking at Legco, Secretary for Health, Welfare and Food Yeoh Eng-kiong said: 'The Hospital Authority keeps a stock of 14 days of protective gear. Such a stock level should provide the authority with sufficient buffer against unexpected surges in demand.' But Ms Lau asked for details of the purchases, how much was spent on these items and whether the gear had been in place for frontline workers to use at the start of the outbreak. 'I want to know whether they placed the orders in time,' she said. Ms Lau said medical staff had been complaining to radio phone-in programmes about the shortage and poor quality of the protective gear following the death on Tuesday of Tuen Mun Hospital doctor Tse Yuen-man. Dr Yeoh said the government had 'several hundred receipts' and the dates of purchase, which it could show Ms Lau if she wished. He said the only items that could be in short supply were N95 masks, as the supplier could not provide enough small-size ones. Public Doctors' Association president Leung Ka-lau said later the authority should have adopted 'the highest standard of precautions' early on in the outbreak, whose mode of transmission was uncertain. 'You just do not try to adopt the average standard of precautions - you see what happened,'' Dr Leung said. He said if Sars persisted, the authority should upgrade facilities such as ventilation and areas for disinfection and washing when workers become contaminated, and provide back-up teams for hazardous procedures such as intubation.