The winter influenza season is raging and many A&E Departments of public hospitals have been filled to overcapacity. Patients have to wait for a long time to be seen and as many private clinics close during the Lunar New Year period, patients have nowhere else to seek treatment. The DAB is highly concerned about this situation. In order to allow patients to be treated as early as possible in a suitable manner, the DAB asks the Food and Health Bureau (FHB) and the Hospital Authority (HA) to quickly implement the following proposals:
1.Improve the services of public clinics during the Lunar New Year period. At least two out-patient clinics in each district should remain open to provide servers as usual and increase the quota of patients treated.
2.Provide evening out-patient service during the Lunar New Year period so as to divert night time patients from A&E service.
3.Immediately dispatch personnel to deal with patients through methods such as utilizing medical personnel on leave and signing retired medical personnel to short term contracts, hiring more medical staff and have them help in dealing with semi-urgent and non-urgent cases in the A&E Departments, public and evening out-patient clinics.
4.Promote public-private partnership in developing healthcare. Purchase more beds from private hospitals and vacate beds in public hospitals to receive more patients in need.
5.Improve the information outreach arrangements for both public and private hospitals. This includes providing lists of private doctors who provide regular services during the Lunar New Year period and related information on the websites of the Food and Health Bureau, the Department of Health and the Hospital Authority’s websites and at the eye-catching places of the A&E Departments of public hospitals, out-patient clinics and evening out-patient clinics. Also the waiting time of A&E should be provided at the eye-catching points of the Food and Health Bureau, the Department of Health and the Hospital Authority’s websites to make it easier for the public to keep up-to-date with the latest service information.
6.Improve the follow-up visits by community nurses in each district to recently discharged patients to encourage patients who are stable to be discharged as soon as possible. Proactively doing so will provide follow up services with the health situation of these patients and also free up hospital beds to receive new patients.
We request the FHB and the HA to implement any possible measures as soon as possible, to strengthen the provision of public healthcare services during the Lunar New Year, to ease the worst of the winter influenza season and to allow patients to receive suitable medical care. The related parties should follow up with the general public at a suitable time and protect the health of the people of Hong Kong.
Media Inquiries: Dominic Wong 9634 4987