Department of Health initiates licence cancellation process for Causeway Bay day procedure centre

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25th November 2023 – (Hong Kong) The Department of Health (DH) has announced its decision to initiate the process of cancelling the licence of a day procedure centre (DPC) located in Causeway Bay. The DH’s action comes after uncovering concerning findings during a routine inspection at the facility, including the suspected use of an unlicensed X-ray machine and unregistered injectable pharmaceutical products. The DPC was also found to be in violation of licence conditions and the Code of Practice for Day Procedure Centres under the Private Healthcare Facilities Ordinance (Cap. 633).

Prompted by these discoveries, the DH officially commenced the licence cancellation process on 24th November. As part of this procedure, the implicated X-ray machine has been marked and sealed, while no unregistered pharmaceutical products were found on the premises.

The DH is adhering to sections 28, 30, and 31 of the Private Healthcare Facilities Ordinance, which outline the steps for licence cancellation. The licensee has been served a 14-day notice and granted an opportunity to provide representation within 10 days of receiving the notice. The licence will only be cancelled after due consideration of the licensee’s response.

A spokesperson for the DH emphasized that the department maintains vigilant monitoring of compliance among licensed DPCs through an established mechanism. To date, no reports of adverse events related to this particular DPC have been received by the DH.

Concurrently, the DH is taking further action to address suspected offences related to the unlicensed X-ray machine, unregistered pharmaceutical products, and the illegal practice of medicine. This includes ongoing investigations and follow-up measures.

It should be noted that possession or use of an unlicensed X-ray machine is deemed an offence under the Radiation Ordinance (Cap. 303). Upon conviction, the maximum penalties include a fine of $50,000 and imprisonment for up to two years.

Similarly, the illegal supply of unregistered pharmaceutical products is considered an offence under the Pharmacy and Poisons Regulations (Cap. 138A). The maximum penalties, if convicted, encompass a fine of $100,000 and imprisonment for up to two years.

Upon completion of the investigation, the DH will seek legal advice from the Department of Justice regarding potential prosecution matters. Furthermore, relevant enforcement agencies or authorities will be notified and involved as necessary.