The University of Hong Kong has not ruled out the possibility of other cases in the private billings scandal, after it released an inquiry report that found payments could have been made to outside accounts. The university council yesterday received the report from the committee of inquiry set up in March after the former dean of the faculty of medicine, Lam Shiu-kum, resigned. Dr Lam has been referred to an unspecified law enforcement agency. University council chairman Victor Fung Kwok-king said he believed the case was an 'isolated incident'. But he did not rule out there could be others and he did not say whether they could involve more staff or patients. Mr Fung added the council had accepted the report and would establish a working group to address systemic deficiencies. A private patient made a complaint to Vice-Chancellor Tsui Lap-chee on January 23, the inquiry report said. The committee held seven meetings and sought the help of accounting firm KPMG and the Hospital Authority. Dr Lam did not attend hearings but submitted a statement providing information and comments on billing arrangements. Council member Edward Leong Che-hung, who chaired the committee, refused to say how widespread the problem was. 'The whole issue started with a possible complaint of an individual. That individual complaint is now in the hands of a law enforcing agency,' Dr Leong said. 'In our report, we saw loopholes and problems. We would like to see that these loopholes are plugged so that the university can improve transparency.' The committee identified five areas of concern. It found that in some cases, no proper attendance or clinical records were set up and thus no proper billing arrangements could be made. 'It is also possible that such patients could be asked by individual staff of the university to pay fees to an account not belonging to the [Hospital Authority] or HKU,' it said. There was also no procedure for regular checks for discrepancies between billing records and medical records, it found. 'It is possible that the HA charges a patient on the basis of the 'procedures' reported by the clinical teacher in the billing form which are different from the clinical procedures actually performed and entered in the medical records,' the report said. It also said the lack of policy and guidelines in granting waivers might lead to possible abuse by staff. Medical sector legislator Kwok Ka-ki said the inquiry report was 'a whitewash', as he had expected. The HKU medicine faculty said it would set 'clear, impartial and transparent guidelines' on waiving consultation fees. The Hospital Authority said it would review the report and work with the university to enhance the system. The report is available on the university website, www.hku.edu.hk .