While he waits, disgraced ex-Philippine leader breaks rules of HK visit by renting luxury flat instead of staying in hospital Disgraced former Philippine president Joseph Estrada's knee operation, scheduled for the Adventist Hospital this morning, was in doubt last night. The uncertainty arose after it was disclosed that Estrada's preferred American surgeon does not have a licence to practise in Hong Kong. An application for a limited medical registration for Christopher Mow, an orthopaedic surgeon from California, has been rejected twice by the Hong Kong Medical Council, a source said. It was unlikely that the licence would be approved soon and today's operation was unlikely to go ahead if it was performed by Dr Mow, the source said. The Medical Council had told the hospital that Dr Mow's application did not meet the requirements for limited registration and Estrada knew the doctor's practising licence had been rejected twice before coming to Hong Kong, the source added. '[Estrada] chose to come and they knew about it,' the source said. Dr Mow told the South China Morning Post total knee replacement was a common operation, with about one million operations carried out worldwide a year. 'The patient expressed a preference to have the surgery done outside the Philippines,' Dr Mow said. Estrada suffers from osteoarthritis. His press secretary, Didangen Dilangalen, on Tuesday described the former president's mood as 'a mix of sorrow and elation, with a dash of worry'. Estrada, who is awaiting trial on corruption charges in Manila, has rented four private rooms for 10 people to stay in at the Adventist since arriving in Hong Kong on Monday night. Those staying in the rooms, which cost $2,880 each a day, include himself and his private doctor from Manila, Larry Jocson. Estrada has also rented a 2,700 sq ft flat at Park View, where rents are as high as $70,000 a month. He stayed in this flat on Tuesday night. Over the past two days, he has undergone a series of tests, including magnetic resonance imaging and ultrasound, with costs ranging from $4,000 to $30,000 for each. A court in the Philippines allowed Estrada to leave for surgery in Hong Kong after a travel bond of 1 million pesos ($139,000) was posted. The conditions also stated that he was to be confined to the Adventist with four Philippine police officers guarding him. Yesterday the Post saw him and his first wife, Senator Luisa Estrada, and their entourage leave the hospital in a fleet of vehicles for lunch. Estrada cancelled a post-lunch interview, saying he would not be staying overnight at the hospital. He told hospital officials that he was having a meeting at his Park View flat. A spokesman for the Philippine consulate in Hong Kong said: 'All the details about the [knee] operation were private arrangements between Estrada, the hospital and the doctor.' Medical Council member Choi Kin, who is also president of the Hong Kong Medical Association, said limited registration was granted only to overseas-trained doctors who come to Hong Kong for academic purposes such as teaching or to demonstrate a new technique.