THE FITNESS of a former Great Western Hospital doctor to practise was deemed impaired by a medical tribunal yesterday, nearly a year after he was convicted of taking an indecent image of a child and voyeurism.
Dr Michael Chong Kee Lok, who had worked as a specialty registrar in the Emergency Department since 2004, was suspended on January 7, 2013 by the hospital.
The 50-year-old, from Kingswood, later admitted taking a photograph of a 15-year-old boy on his phone at Bath University Sports Village in November and December 2012. He also pleaded guilty to seven counts of voyeurism at Bristol Crown Court.
At a hearing of the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service yesterday, a panel found his fitness to practise medicine had been impaired by his criminal conviction.
MPTS panel chairman Dr Bernard Herdan said that although Lok had ‘recognised the severe impact’ of his offending, he could not ignore his conviction.
“In summary you were convicted of seven counts of voyeurism and one count of taking an indecent photograph of a child. The offences took place at the swimming facilities at Bath University, where you went swimming on a regular basis.
“On seven separate occasions between November 7 2012 and December 19 2012 you used your mobile phone to photograph other males in the changing rooms while they were naked, without their permission or knowledge. These account for the seven counts of voyeurism.
“On December 19 2012, you took photographs on your phone of a 15-year-old boy while he was naked in the changing rooms. This accounts for the offence of taking an indecent photograph of a child. This incident led you to being arrested.”
He added: “You told the panel that following your conviction you have undergone much self reflection in order to understand why you acted in the way you did. “You also described the positive work undertaken with your probation officer who has helped you to open up and encouraged you to talk more freely with your friends and family.
“Given the serious nature of your offences, the Panel has concluded that a finding of current impairment must be made in order to maintain confidence in the medical profession which would otherwise be seriously undermined. “Furthermore, a finding of impairment is necessary to uphold proper standards of conduct and behaviour. In the light of all the relevant factors in this case, the Panel has determined that your fitness to practise is currently impaired by reason of your conviction.”
Lok was sentenced to a three-year community order, which includes a sex offenders treatment programme at Bristol Crown Court last year.
The panel will now consider what sanction, if any, to impose on the doctor’s registration.