Michael Maguiness and David Smyth write:
In the recent case of Chairman and Deputy Chairman of the Preliminary Investigation Committee of the Medical Council of Hong Kong v Hospital Authority,(1) the High Court dismissed proceedings commenced by the chair and deputy chair (collectively, the chair) seeking to compel the Hospital Authority to disclose confidential patient records in connection with professional disciplinary proceedings. In a robust decision, the High Court judge found that the chair did not have the statutory power to compel the Hospital Authority to disclose the patient records. The decision serves as a good reminder of the tension that exists between the competing interests of preserving client (or patient) privacy rights and the necessity and public interest in the proper administration of professional disciplinary proceedings.
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