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Acting CS on medical incidents

     Following is the transcript of remarks (English portion) made by the Acting Chief Secretary for Administration, Dr York Chow, at a media stand-up session after attending a public event today (July 30):

Reporter: (On medical blunders)

Acting Chief Secretary for Administration: The Hospital Authority has adopted a policy to disclose the sentinel events and all the medical incidents since I think four years ago. They will announce the incidents and also highlight some of the important ones every quarter. So we will monitor the situation to see if there is any area that needs special attention. But this is a very important policy to ensure first of all, the hospitals and the staff would be able to improve after they know such incidents have occurred. And secondly, patients and public themselves would also understand that healthcare itself carries certain risk. And if they need to go to hospital, they also need to know their own responsibilities and their rights. So they can ask the right questions, they can also help the professional health workers to look after them. I think it is an important message to public and also an important policy to ensure there is a good relationship between the healthcare workers and the patients.

Reporter: Do you think frequent medical blunders are a direct result of shortage of staff?

Acting Chief Secretary for Administration: As far as the staff number is concerned, I think the Hospital Authority has been increasing staff all along. There is no absolute shortage of staff. But in certain areas, of course, we lost certain expertise in certain specialties and so on, both in medical as well as nursing and other professions. But on the whole, I think the improvement of our services still go hand in hand with the advancement of technology. We are able to adopt new drugs and new technology to care for our patients. So I think this type of incidents will still occur, but our aim is to ensure we adopt an open policy so that we can reduce it with the help of the healthcare workers as well as our general public.

(Please also refer to the Chinese portion of the transcript.)

Ends/Saturday, July 30, 2011
Issued at HKT 21:21


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