A Hong Kong doctor practising in Australia was struck off the city's medical roll for three months for failing to recognise that a patient in New South Wales was seriously ill. But the sentence was suspended for a year. The chairwoman of the Medical Council, Felice Lieh Mak, said that although the incident took place overseas, the council was still responsible for reviewing whether Joseph George Chu was qualified for the medical registry in Hong Kong. Dr Chu had also been reprimanded by the New South Wales Medical Board for failing to examine a patient adequately and failing to recognise her serious illness. The 38-year-old patient first consulted Dr Chu in October 2000 after her weight fell dramatically, from 118kg to 54.5kg within a year. Dr Chu claimed that she had been diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome. The patient again consulted Dr Chu on two occasions about a month later, complaining of severe abdominal pain, tiredness and night sweats. Dr Chu ordered blood tests and diagnosed influenza, viral infection with subsequent bacterial chest infection and anaemia. However, after the patient consulted another doctor three days later, she was found to have a large palpable abdominal mass. She was admitted to hospital and found to have intra-abdominal abscesses. Five litres of pus was drained from her abdomen. Professor Lieh Mak said that, according to expert evidence, the patient must have been very ill when she last visited Dr Chu. The council ruled that Dr Chu had fallen short of the standard expected of registered medical practitioners and that his actions constituted professional misconduct.