Missed melanoma case: Woman became patient

By Edward Gay

Kong has denied a charge of attempting to pervert the course of justice. Photo / File
Kong has denied a charge of attempting to pervert the course of justice. Photo / File

A woman continued to take her father to the local GP despite the doctor missing a melanoma, a court has heard.

Peihong Du has told the Auckland District Court that she became a patient of Dr Hong Sheng Kong herself in 2006 - a year after she alleges Kong missed a melanoma on her elderly father's heel.

Ms Du has previously told the court that she asked the doctor to refer her father to a specialist and also asked for a biopsy of her father's lesion but Kong said it was not necessary.

She said Kong blamed the lesion on her father's diabetes and told her that he should be more concerned about his blood pressure.

Her father died in 2007 and she later lodged a formal complaint with the Health and Disability Commissioner but the complaint was dismissed.

The Crown says that is because Kong changed his clinical notes before they were sent to the Commissioner.

Kong has denied a charge of attempting to pervert the course of justice.

His lawyer Marc Corbett said the changes were made after the doctor spoke to his practice nurse who had also examined Mr Du.

Under cross examination from Mr Corbett, Ms Du said that while she could not remember every question put to her yesterday, the treatment that her father received at the hands of Kong in 2005 would be "forever imprinted on my brain".

Mr Corlett asked: "Do you recall Dr Kong saying to you that the lesion was probably not caused by diabetes?"

Ms Du replied that the doctor said the lesion related to diabetes and made no mention of melanoma.

She confirmed that despite this, she signed up as a patient of Kong's the following year and continued to take her father back to Kong until December 2006, shortly before the elderly gentleman died.

Yesterday the Court heard from Crown prosecutor Anna Longdill who said Kong made changes to Mr Du's medical notes before forwarding them to the Health and Disability Commissioner during an investigation into his treatment.

"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."

The trial before Judge Eddie Paul is due to end next week.

- APNZ

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