Hong Kong specialist in child medicine banned

Baby subject to ‘indiscriminate prescription of steroids’, Medical Council told

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 17 January, 2017, 11:53pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 18 January, 2017, 12:09am

A paediatrician has been banned from practising for three months without suspension after he was found guilty of seven charges of professional misconduct.

Dr Wilson Fung Yee-leung, a former vice-president of the ­Medical Association, who has been a practising paediatrician since 1998, was ­accused of charges including ­inappropriately prescribing two types of steroids to a 10-month-old boy and ­administering ­excessive dosages of the drug from December 2010 to January 2011.

“I have nothing to say and I would let the public be the judge. I think I have done the best for the patient,” Fung said after the ­hearing at the Medical Council on Tuesday.

The council heard that the ­baby, whose name was not ­disclosed, was first referred to Fung by his mother on December 31, 2010, after he displayed symptoms of cold or influenza.

When he did not show any ­improvement, the council was told Fung prescribed ­inhaled ­steroids without sufficient clinical ­evidence to prove the boy was ­suffering from acute bronchiolitis, a condition that may be ­treated by such medication.

The council said any quantity of steroids would be “high and ­excessive” to the boy if he did not suffer from a condition that ­required the drugs.

Fung was also said to have not discussed a treatment plan with the mother, and not informed her that the prescribed medication contained steroids and had possible side effects.

Professor Felice Lieh Mak, temporary chairwoman of the council, said in the judgment that she was concerned at the ­“indiscriminate prescription of steroids to a 10-month-old baby”. She added: “Babies are not miniature adults. How they may react to the combined use of steroids is difficult to foresee.”

The boy was described as ­fortunate not to have suffered harm from the steroids.

Lieh Mak said the decision to remove Fung, who gained his ­licence as a general practitioner in 1978, from the doctors’ general register for three months without suspensionwas taken because his misconduct was considered to be “rather serious”.

“We found no signs of regret. Even in his plea today he didn’t admit he had done wrong,” she said after the hearing.

Lieh Mak added that Fung ­only claimed he did not make ­appropriate records and did not know how to communicate with the mother.

The council’s education and accreditation committee would decide whether anything needed to be done about the specialist qualification in paediatrics held by Fung, she said.