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Crime in Hong Kong

Hong Kong eye doctors face misconduct charge over patient referrals to private clinic

  • Three doctors charged by city’s corruption commission after complaint is made to Hospital Authority
  • Two of three worked at Caritas Medical Centre while running clinic in Tsim Sha Tsui
PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 28 November, 2018, 7:56pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 29 November, 2018, 6:24am

Three former public eye doctors in Hong Kong have been arrested and charged for allegedly referring patients to a private clinic operated by two of them, the city’s corruption commission disclosed on Wednesday.

Yau Shing-kin, 39, Byron Chu Tung-hang, 42, both former full-time doctors at Caritas Medical Centre in Cheung Sha Wan; and Aaron Chu Tung-ki, 45, a former part-time doctor from the same hospital, face a joint charge of conspiracy to commit misconduct in public office, a spokesman from the Independent Commission Against Corruption said.

In addition, Yau faces one count of theft for allegedly stealing 29 bottles of eye drops, and nine tubes of eye ointment, from the Hospital Authority on May 26, 2016.

They will appear at West Kowloon Court on Friday to be transferred to the District Court for plea.

The spokesman said Yau was a full-time doctor in the hospital’s Department of Ophthalmology at the time of the alleged offence, while Aaron Chu had been a part-time doctor in the department since August 2011. His younger brother Byron Chu had been a full-time turned part-time doctor there since May 2016.

The Chu brothers also operated a private eye clinic in Tsim Sha Tsui.

Two of the charges allege that between January 4, 2012, and June 21, 2016, Yau referred his patients at the hospital to the brothers’ clinic, violating the guidelines of the authority on patients’ referral.

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He was also accused of disclosing the information and records of his patients to the brothers.

Byron Chu was also accused of referring his patients at the hospital to his brother at the clinic, and disclosing their records.

The duties of Yau, and the Chu brothers, at the hospital included the provision of clinical and specialist services in ophthalmology. Regarding clinical service, they treated patients, recorded their diagnosis, and managed their medical records, the spokesman said.

The case arose from a corruption complaint referred by the Hospital Authority.