A senior dental officer of the Department of Health has been charged by the corruption watchdog for allegedly falsifying records to represent her brother as her husband in order for him to receive free dental services. She also allegedly put false appointments into the computer system for patients on other occasions.

Janet Lau Wing-kam, 54, was a senior dental officer of the Department of Health in charge of its Kwun Tong Yung Fung Shee Dental Clinic, which provides free dental services to eligible persons, including civil servants, their dependents, and pensioners. The younger brother was not a civil servant and was not eligible for the free dental services.

The charges alleged that on August 19, 2015, she – wilfully and intentionally – falsely represented that her younger brother was her husband, who was eligible for receiving free dental services at the clinic. Her younger brother attended the clinic for a dental appointment booked on the computer for her husband. Dental treatment, including an X-ray examination, was instead provided to her younger brother.

ICAC. File

The alternative charge alleged that on the same day, Lau conspired with her younger brother to defraud officers and staff members in the clinic by dishonestly taking the said courses of action.

The remaining charges alleged that on five occasions between June 5, 2014 and June 11, 2015, Lau obtained access to a computer in the clinic with a dishonest intent. She was said to have put appointments into its booking system in order to falsely represent that some patients would attend the clinic for dental services to be provided by her.

The Independent Commission Against Corruption received a corruption complaint from the Department of Health, and subsequent enquiries by the commission revealed the alleged offences. The commission said the department has rendered full assistance during its investigation.

Lau faces a charge of misconduct in public office and an alternative charge of conspiracy to defraud, both contrary to Common Law. She also faces five counts of access to a computer with criminal or dishonest intent.

She has been released on ICAC bail, and will appear in the Kwun Tong Magistracy on Friday for a plea to be heard.

Kris Cheng

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.