Queen Mary Hospital in Hong Kong will investigate an incident in which a surgeon reportedly left for three hours during an ongoing liver-transplant operation to perform another surgery at a different hospital.

Senior surgeon Dr Kelvin Ng Kowk-chai allegedly left the operating room at 3:25pm on October 13 without giving a reason while the patient was on the surgery table. The patient’s abdomen was left open, according to an exclusive report in Apple Daily on Thursday.

The patient was waiting for a liver from a deceased person, which had been extracted at Prince of Wales Hospital in Sha Tin at 2pm. Five minutes after Ng left the operating room, the liver arrived at Queen Mary Hospital, the report said. However, Ng did not return until  6:30pm.

The transplant operation was completed successfully at 10pm.

The report claimed that Ng had gone to a private hospital to perform another operation. He is a part-time doctor for Queen Mary Hospital’s  liver transplant center, so he is allowed to practice privately.

Dr Luk Che-chung, the chief of Queen Mary Hospital, admitted that the reports of Ng’s actions were largely accurate, Radio Television Hong Kong reported.

Luk said the hospital had launched an investigation into the matter. He said there were occasions when doctors left an operation temporarily to deal with other matters, but he agreed that in his opinion Ng had stayed away too long.

Luk said the patient was now in stable condition.