Chan Han-pan, a lawmaker from the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong (DAB), has refuted allegations that he misused his power to get special treatment for his wife at a public hospital.
Responding to accusations that he got his pregnant wife moved to a private ward at Kwong Wah Hospital earlier this year without paying the regular high fees, Chan said the charges are baseless.
Chan said in a statement that his wife gave birth to a boy, their second child, in March at Kwong Wah Hospital, but swore that the arrangement was proper and necessary and that the couple did not receive any special treatment.
Denying allegations that he had pressured the Hospital Authority as well as the Kwong Wah Hospital management, Chan said all medical care and hospitalization arrangement for his wife was decided by the hospital.
Doctors at Tuen Mun Hospital, where his wife was originally admitted, had recommended that the pregnant woman be transferred to Kwong Wah as her condition was deemed unstable, Chan said.
Kwong Wah was considered a better option as Chan’s wife had some relatives living nearby who can help take care of her, the lawmaker added.
Without giving details of symptoms suffered by his wife, Chan said he is grateful to the medical staff at Kwong Wah and that he hopes they will not feel pressured by unfounded rumors.
The comments came after an anonymous person alleged on social media that Chan got his wife transferred to Kwong Wah Hospital and enjoyed costly VIP services without paying higher fees.
According to a Facebook post Monday, Chan — a pro-establishment lawmaker — pressured Kwong Wah Hospital’s management to assign a particular doctor to take care of his wife all the way until she gave birth and offer premium personal services that only very rich people can normally afford.
The anonymous person alleged that the hospital charged the couple only HK$100 per day as it does to normal patients.
With the latest controversy, Chan has become the second DAB lawmaker to be accused in recent days of securing special treatment at a local hospital.
Reports surfaced last week that Chan’s party colleague Tam Yiu-chung was allowed to jump the queue for a minor operation and gain special treatment at Queen Elizabeth Hospital.
A spokesman for Kwong Wah denied that the hospital gave preferential treatment to anyone, insisting that services are provided based on patients’ needs.
Kwong Wah does not offer VIP services even though the hospital has a premium ward that charges HK$5,610 per day, according to the spokesman.
Dr. Leung Wing-cheong, who heads Kwong Wah’s department of gynecology and obstetrics, was quoted by Apple Daily as saying that he was in charge of the caesarean procedure for Chan’s wife as she suffered from a condition called placenta previa.
He denied that hospital staff had come under any pressure from Chan.
Civil Party lawmaker Kwok Ka-ki, who is a doctor by profession, said resources owned by public hospitals are generally tight, a fact that a public figure like Chan should be aware of.
He noted that it is rare for a pregnant woman to seek medical treatment outside the district she lives in, unless a very complicated operation is required.
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