A former senior oncologist at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, who was accused of obtaining the personal details of 2,000 clients before he left for private practice, said that he only wanted to use the information to notify the patients about his move for their benefit. Testifying at Kowloon City Court yesterday, Paddy Chan Tak-ming said he did not consider that his actions were inappropriate and that it complied with the professional code of conduct issued by Hong Kong Medical Council in 2000. He said all the recipients of his letters were his patients or those of his team at the hospital's oncology department, and thus his behaviour was in compliance under the 'practice promotion' section in the professional code. The section states that doctors cannot promote their practices to anyone who is not their patient. Chan, 46, has pleaded not guilty to one count of misconduct in public office and an alternative charge of obtaining access to a computer with a view to dishonest gain The alleged offences occurred in January and February 2007, the court heard. Chan told the court that he notified his patients about his change of practice because he wanted them to have treatment choices. He said cancer patients often required follow-up treatment for long periods and that some patients who had consulted him since 1989 were still under his care. Chan said that in January 2007 he began copying patients' names and addresses from individual folders every day during his lunch break when his colleagues were in the room. After three weeks, he realised that it was a very time-consuming exercise and he sought assistance from a clerk, Sandy Lau Kam-ha. Chan rejected an accusation from prosecutor Tam Sze-lok that he copied the patients' details in order to secure business for his private practice. The trial continues today before Magistrate David Thomas.