Secretary for Health visits public hospitals (with photos)

     The Secretary for Health, Professor Lo Chung-mau, visited United Christian Hospital, Caritas Medical Centre and Prince of Wales Hospital today (December 7) to get a better grasp of the contingency measures put in place by public hospitals in response to COVID-19 and the winter service surge. He also expressed his gratitude to the frontline healthcare staff for their efforts and contributions.
     Accompanied by the Chairman of the Hospital Authority (HA), Mr Henry Fan, and the Chief Executive of the HA, Dr Tony Ko, Professor Lo and the Under Secretary for Health, Dr Libby Lee, inspected the accident and emergency (A&E) departments and wards of the hospitals, and learned from healthcare staff the contingency measures being taken in public hospitals in response to the service surge.
     Professor Lo said, "As winter approaches, public hospitals are facing dual challenges from COVID-19 and winter influenza simultaneously. The HA anticipates that the service demand for A&E departments and inpatient services will continue to rise. To ensure the timely handling of emergency cases of serious illness and minimise the impact on non-emergency service, the HA has formulated contingency plans in tandem with each hospital cluster and reserved sufficient resources to open temporary beds and make manpower arrangements when necessary, in order to enhance services for patients during the surge.
     "In addition, I entrusted the HA to strengthen its role of gate-keeping and co-operate with residential care homes to reduce cases of unnecessary hospital admissions, as well as to keep up with its enhancement of collaboration with private hospitals by transferring suitable patients to the private hospitals to continue their treatment thereat. All these aim to reduce the burden on the public healthcare system.
     "I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to all healthcare staff for their efforts in ensuring the sustainable operation of Hong Kong's healthcare system at this critical juncture, and continue to maintain a high degree of professionalism in safeguarding public health at all times."
     Professor Lo once again appealed to members of the public to receive seasonal influenza and COVID-19 vaccines as early as possible and maintain good personal protection. At the same time, non-urgent patients should avoid using A&E departments, so that public hospitals can devote their resources to treating patients in need in a more effective manner.

Ends/Wednesday, December 7, 2022
Issued at HKT 19:35