Poor judgment

A rorting doctor who ripped off taxpayers health dollars to the tune of thousands had “good character” references from a couple of MPs.

An Auckland GP who has been punished for doctoring patients files to rort health authorities now faces losing his medical licence.

Dr Hong Sheng Kong, 44, of Pakuranga, was sentenced to a year’s home detention and 400 hours community service last November after he admitted dishonesty charges in the Auckland District Court.

At his Panmure practice thousands of alterations were made to computer records on which claims for taxpayer funding were based.

The amount of the fraudulent conduct was $183,134.

There is still a civil action pending amounting to over $3million from the ADHB. You have to wonder at the judgment of MPs who are giving character references for convicted fraudsters.

The 44-year-old GP’s lawyer, Harry Waalkens, QC, gave the tribunal excerpts of character references, including from National’s Jackie Blue and Labour’s Raymond Huo.

Arguing for a suspension from practising – to be imposed only if there was re-offending – he said Kong’s services as a Chinese-speaking doctor were needed here. He also said Mr Huo was a patient of Kong’s, was aware of the convictions and had said: “‘It would be a massive loss to the community if [Dr Kong’s service] were no longer’ available.”

Mr Huo declined to discuss the matter with the Herald yesterday.

Dr Blue told the Herald Kong was genuinely remorseful for his mistakes, he was a good doctor and he had the support of the Chinese community.

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.