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Fraud in procurement of medical equipment

Trades / Industries:

Dr M, the Chief of Service of the Paediatric Department of a public hospital, has the approving authority for purchases not exceeding $100,000. His girlfriend Phoebe is a sales manager of a large medical equipment company.


Recently, David, the Department Operations Manager, recommended a replacement of a medical equipment and the sourcing was in progress. As Dr M knew that Phoebe was being pressured by her boss to secure more business for the company, he offered to help her.  After going through the quotations obtained by David, Dr M found that the price quoted by Phoebe was not the lowest.  He thus asked David to mark up the quotations of other companies so that he could secure the contract of the medical equipment to Phoebe’s company.   In order to please Dr M, David agreed to the proposal.

Case Analysis

David would violate Section 9(3) of the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance for manipulating quotation breakdown to deceive his employer i.e. the Hospital Authority (HA).  Dr M, who instructed David to take part in the fictitious quotation plot might also be charged with an offence of conspiracy to defraud.


Dr M might face disciplinary action taken by the Medical Council of Hong Kong and his fitness to practise might be questioned.


At the same time, the HA would also take follow-up action against Dr M and David who might breach the HA’s code of conduct which requires the procurement of goods to be the best value for money in terms of price, quality, delivery time and service.


Also, Dr M should, as far as possible, avoid any actual and perceived conflict of interest. When a situation of conflict of interest cannot be avoided, he should as soon as possible declare all relevant details of such situation to his organisation, i.e. his relationship with the sales manager of the potential supplier.

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