NGO calls for staff coordination in public hospitals to cope with long waiting hours

Staff coordination has to be enhanced in public hospitals to deal with the overwhelming pressure in the medical system, said a non-government organization.

"Public hospitals were facing severe manpower shortage under the winter season and Covid," said Tim Pang Hung-cheong, the community organizer of the Society for Community Organisation.

"The occupancy rate of the medical bed is also overwhelmed, which may cause patients to wait for another 10 hours for a bed after being stuck in the queue for 12 hours to receive doctors' consultations," he said.

Pang suggested the hospitals arrange for staff to coordinate with different departments, and speed up the process of admitting and checking out patients to shorten the waiting time.

He added that the health authority should encourage more private doctors to engage in medical services in care homes. 

"More doctors should join to visit residential care homes as the confirmed Covid cases, especially the senior infections, are now required to stay in their own place for quarantine and need medical care," he said.

The Hospital Authority announced on Monday that multiple emergency units in public hospitals are now seeing waiting times exceeding 12 hours, with over 4,000 patients crowded each day during this winter.

Simon Tang Yiu-hang, director of cluster services of the Hospital Authority, said that an average of 5,000 new Covid patients were admitted to the hospital daily, with about 400 in severe conditions.