Some of the copies include the patient's personal data, like names and Hong Kong ID card number. The incident has been reported to the Hospital Authority Head Office and to the Office of the Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data, according to the hospital.

A resident trainee borrowed a box of teaching materials consisting of the X-ray film copies, from a consultant on March 28. She wished to return the box to the consultant through the department secretary on April 8, but the secretary had left already. The trainee then left the box on the floor near the secretary’s desk.

The trainee then asked the secretary on April 15, if the box had been returned to the consultant yet, and the secretary said she had not received the box.

Initial investigation reveals that a box placed next to a rubbish bin at the secretary’s office was removed by a contractor cleaning staff on April 9. It is not confirmed whether the box contained the lost X-ray film copies, the hospital said.

They also said they could not locate the copies after a thorough search in other hospital locations.

They added the copies used for teaching purposes were taken before 2004 and patient service has not been affected by the incident.

The hospital is highly concerned about the incident, and they have reminded all departments on the safe custody and handling of patients’ information.

They will also conduct review on other copies kept for teaching purposes to prevent similar occurrences from happening.