- University spokeswoman says they believe in meritocracy and have a rigorous and fair selection process in place
- Lawmaker feels Dr Kelvin Ng Kwok-chaithe should be given second chance on condition that similar mistake do not recur
A top liver surgeon who was embroiled in a controversy two years ago for leaving a patient halfway through an operation to perform another scheduled procedure at a private hospital has been hired by the Chinese University of Hong Kong's medical faculty.
Dr Kelvin Ng Kwok-chai will join the department of surgery at the university, which runs one of the city's two medical schools.
A spokeswoman for CUHK's medical faculty confirmed the appointment, but said the school would not comment on individual cases due to privacy concerns.
Stressing the school's serious commitment to teaching quality, she said: "(CUHK's faculty of medicine) has always upheld the principle of meritocracy, and has a rigorous and fair selection process."
Ng did not reply to the Post's enquiry.
Surgeon who left operation halfway through offered new job by mainland Chinese hospital
The doctor raised eyebrows when he rushed to a private hospital to perform a scheduled procedure on October 13, 2017 " while he was halfway through a liver transplant at Queen Mary Hospital.
The patient at the public hospital, which is also a teaching hospital of the University of Hong Kong, was left on the operating theatre table for three hours before Ng returned to complete the surgery.
Ng, who was in private practice at that time, served as an honorary consultant at Queen Mary, which was mired in a staff crunch. Ng was concurrently a part-time associate professor at HKU's department of surgery and was free to treat other patients at private hospitals.
An investigation panel formed by Queen Mary later found Ng's conduct "unacceptable" and "unnecessary". In February last year, Ng's contract at HKU was not renewed, but he was subsequently offered a post at a mainland Chinese hospital affiliated with HKU.
Ng is leaving HKU-Shenzhen Hospital to join CUHK.
No contract renewal for Hong Kong doctor who left liver patient in middle of transplant
Lawmaker Kwok Ka-ki, a urologist himself, said the appointment could boost Chinese University's liver transplant credentials, since strict employment conditions are being set to prevent recurrence of similar mistakes.
"There are not many top liver surgeons in Hong Kong, and everybody should be given a second chance to redeem himself," Kwok said.
There are not many top liver surgeons in Hong Kong, and everybody should be given a second chance to redeem himselfKwok Ka-ki, Civic Party lawmaker
"But Dr Ng must show he has learned some hard lessons, and dedicate his time and talent to his students and patients at public hospitals, not just cash in on private practice," said the Civic Party politician.
The Medical Council did not want to comment on if it had received any complaint against Ng since the 2017 incident.
Additional reporting by Elizabeth Cheung
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