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HA's response to Ombudsman's report

The following is issued on behalf of the Hospital Authority:

     Regarding the release of the Direct Investigation on Conveyance of Patients by Ambulance to "Area Hospitals" report by the Ombudsman today (January 10), the spokesman for the Hospital Authority (HA) issued the following response:

     The HA accepts the recommendations made in the report and will continue to work closely with the Fire Services Department to follow up on the recommendations. Particular effort would be devoted to providing proper training and facilities as well as drawing up clear guidelines for front-line ambulancemen, including a definition of patients in critical condition. Patients who are in critical condition would be conveyed to the nearest acute hospital in terms of travel time when the "area hospital" is not the nearest one.

     The HA also supports the implementation of special arrangements to convey critical patients with cardiac arrest or respiratory arrest to the nearest acute hospital. In accordance with the current triage system at Accident and Emergency Departments, immediate treatment would be provided to the two types of critical patients upon assessment and triage as critical category.

     The HA spokesman reiterated that patients' best interests are accorded first priority in the provision of medical care for emergency patients.

Ends/Thursday, January 10, 2013
Issued at HKT 16:47


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