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HA implements additional measures for alleviating winter surge demand pressure
The following is issued on behalf of the Hospital Authority:

     The Hospital Authority (HA) today (February 9) announced the implementation plan of the additional measures to meet the services demand and relieve manpower shortage in the winter surge. With the Government's additional one-off injection, the estimated total expenditure for the 2017-18 winter surge will increase to around $900 million.
     "With the support and commitment of the additional one-off $500 million funding from the Government, the HA has formulated proposals on the utilisation of the additional resources, upon collecting views from various staff groups," the HA Chief Executive, Dr Leung Pak-yin, said.
     "The timely funding from the Government not only recognises the commitment of our front-line staff in serving the community, but also augments our capacity and flexibility to address additional service needs."
     Taking into account the views of various stakeholders, a number of additional measures will be implemented from next Monday (February 12) until May 31, on top of the response plan for the 2017-18 winter surge to alleviate the manpower shortage and work pressure.
     "As an exceptional one-off arrangement, we will increase the rate of Special Honorarium Scheme (SHS) allowance by 10 per cent from next Monday until May 31 to encourage more staff, including clerical staff, supporting staff, allied health professionals, doctors and nurses, to work during the surge period with significant anticipated increase in workload."
     Other measures include extending the use of the SHS to provide extra manpower of clerical and supporting staff to relieve healthcare staff for clinical work; increasing the flexibility of the SHS to a minimum operation need of one hour for all grades of staff; enhancing senior coverage and supervision to ward staff by providing the SHS at Advanced Practice Nurse level for night-shift duties; and relaxing the criteria for implementation of the Continuous Night Shift Scheme.
     "The latest estimates for the total expenditure for the 2017-18 winter surge amount to around $900 million, to be funded by the Government's one-off funding of $500 million and the HA's internal resources," Dr Leung added.
     The HA will continue to monitor the service utilisation to implement appropriate measures under the 2017-18 winter surge response plan in a timely manner.
     "We have to express our heartfelt thanks, in particular, to all our colleagues who have walked extra miles to serve our patients during the difficult times of surging service demand. Besides deploying the funding to augment the manpower resources, the hospital accreditation programme will continue to be suspended until further notice," Dr Leung said.
Ends/Friday, February 9, 2018
Issued at HKT 19:10
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