A private doctor in Tuen Mun has been accused of issuing medications which are past their expiration dates, reusing syringes, and persuading senior citizens to purchase expensive milk formula using medical vouchers.
The accusations were made against private doctor Yung Kin-shing by three nurses who work or have worked at his clinic in Yau Oi Estate, Tuen Mun. All three alleged that they have personally given out expired medication to patients, or have witnessed other staff doing so, Ming Pao reported.
Two of the nurses said that they were asked to remove labels which showed the expired dates, and that they were not allowed to throw out used syringes. They also said that they would be willing to testify at hearings if necessary.
Footage provided by one of the nurses, and medicine containers from the clinic’s trash, obtained by Ming Pao, found that the dates of expiration on the labels ranged from 2011 to this January.
The nurses said that they did not come forward previously because they did not want to affect the doctor and his family, but that the situation has grown more serious in recent years. A third nurse quit her job there after two months because she felt that the doctor was not professional.
Yung denied having handed out medications past their expiry dates and said that the containers were used to store cotton and other objects. He also denied forbidding staff to throw away used syringes. Yung said he suggested milk formula because some of the senior citizens were suffering from malnutrition, but he did not respond to allegations that he profited from the transactions.
Tuen Mun District Councillor and Labour Party member Tam Chun-yin also said that he had received complaints about the matter, RTHK reported. Tam said that after seeking legal counsel, he and the complainant may lodge a complaint with the Medical Council. He was also worried about the adverse health effects that consuming out of date medicines could have on the patients.
The Medical Council of Hong Kong’s Preliminary Investigation Committee Chairperson Dr Choi Kin said that around four to five cases out of the 500 complaints that the council receives per year are about medicines past their expiration dates, and usually a hearing would be held to review the matter. The penalties imposed will also vary depending on whether it is intentional fraud, or negligence.
The Department of Health said they have not received any complaints with regards to expired medicine but did not answer questions about whether visits have been paid to the clinic or whether any regulatory violations have been found.