GP changed notes to mislead commissioner, court told

By Edward Gay

Chanxing Du had surgery for his melanoma but died in 2007. Photo / Thinkstock
Chanxing Du had surgery for his melanoma but died in 2007. Photo / Thinkstock

A doctor missed the melanoma in a patient's foot and later changed his records to mislead the Health and Disability Commissioner, a court has heard.

Hong Sheng Kong has denied a charge of wilfully attempting to pervert the course of justice and is on trial in the Auckland District Court.

Peihong Du wept as she told the court that she took her father, Chanxing Du, 73, to see Kong, their GP, in July 2005 because of a growth on his heel.

She said the lesion was about the size of her small fingernail. Kong told them it was the result of her father's diabetes.

Ms Du asked if the complaint should be referred to a specialist but Kong said they should be more concerned with Mr Du's high blood pressure and diabetes.

She took her father back two months later because the lesion had grown to twice the size and begun to bleed.

Ms Du said Kong referred them to a diabetes clinic, where a doctor told them the problem was not because of diabetes.

She said Kong gave them a referral for blood tests. Two days later, he told her Mr Du had a melanoma.

Mr Du had surgery for the melanoma but died on January 20, 2007, after going into a coma.

Prosecutor Anna Longdill said Mr Du's family had laid a complaint about Kong with the Health and Disability Commissioner, which was dismissed.

She said Kong had changed his notes to say he had offered to refer Mr Du for a biopsy but the family were not prepared to spend the $20.

"The only rational explanation, on the Crown's case, is that Dr Kong ... wanted to stop the commissioner in his tracks and put this one to bed. Indeed, he succeeded."

Kong's lawyer, Marc Corlett, said his client did not deny changing Mr Du's records but the alterations were made after he talked to his nurse and wife, Wendy, who had also examined Mr Du.

- APNZ

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production apcf03 at 24 Oct 2014 23:48:11 Processing Time: 315ms