HKFP Occupy one year on

The Medical Council has found a complaint against a doctor who joined the pro-democracy Occupy protest last year to be unsubstantiated.

On Wednesday, Dr Ray Leung Tsz-hang commented on Facebook that he had received a letter stating that complaints had been lodged against him along with several other doctors, nurses and medical students. The letter suggested they should receive disciplinary action for their involvement in the mass social movement outside of work.

After a preliminary investigation by the Medical Council, the complaint was found to be unsubstantiated and, as per procedure, Leung was notified by post after the verdict was made.

occupy medics
File photo: HKFP.

Dr Gabriel Choi Kin, Chairman of the Council’s Preliminary Investigation Committee (PIC), told Ming Pao that it was up to him, the Deputy Chairman and a lay member of the PIC to decide if a complaint should proceed further into a formal inquiry.

Mr Choi said that the complaints related to the protests last year were dismissed mainly because there was insubstantial evidence, or the complaints were too trivial. He said the Medical Council can only deal with professional misconduct, not political issues. If the complainant is not satisfied he can apply for a judicial review, he pointed out.

Currently there are no doctors in disciplinary hearings for participating in the pro-democracy protests, but the Council would follow up on any cases if a doctor was found to guilty in court or sent to jail, Mr Choi said.

In his social media post, Leung wrote that he was at the protest in his personal capacity while off duty.”One point I must emphasise is that, as medics at the scene, we put down our political views and indiscriminately helped anyone injured.”

Doctor Ray Leung helping the injured at Occupy protest.
Doctor Ray Leung helping the injured at Occupy protest.

“You can say ‘a true man won’t stand beside a collapsing wall’. At the scene of a ‘riot’, I know we should wait for emergency services from the government paramedics or the auxiliary medical service. However, this is Hong Kong, our home.”

He said there was a group of selfless off duty medics who helped at the time, who could not bear to just to stand by doing nothing while the television relaid scenes of people getting injured.

“History will decide if the student protests were right or wrong,” he said, adding, “It is always right for doctors and nurses to save lives as this is their duty.”

Kris Cheng is a Hong Kong journalist with an interest in local politics. His work has been featured in Washington Post, Public Radio International, Hong Kong Economic Times and others. He has a BSSc in Sociology from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Kris is HKFP's Editorial Director.