Storage security tightened
I REFER to an article headlined, 'Hospitals warned over drug supply', written by Karin Bishop (South China Morning Post, April 24).
It is regrettable that the story has not been able to present the reader with a balanced picture. It has also failed to convey a number of important points discussed during my interview with Miss Bishop.
Miss Bishop rang up the News Section of the Hospital Authority on the afternoon of April 20, asking for comment on the incident mentioned in her article. Despite my very tight schedule, I gave Miss Bishop a telephone interview on the drug administration procedures in public hospitals at about 8 pm on the same day when I managed to free myself from a meeting.
In the interview, I explained clearly to Miss Bishop that the Hospital Authority has a comprehensive drug administration system which is kept under constant review. Guidelines have also been drawn up on the standard practices in drug prescription, supply and storage, transportation, and administration. At the hospital level, local mechanisms such as Hospital Drug Committees have been formed in every public hospital to monitor and review the drug administration system in individual hospitals. In the event of incidents, immediate action can be taken by the local mechanisms to investigate, implement remedial action, review the existing guidelines and make recommendations to improve.
Regarding the particular incident in the Prince of Wales Hospital, a full investigation has been carried out by the hospital. As a result, the hospital has introduced a number of measures, including the tightening up of the security of drug storage in the ward and reviewing the appropriate amount and items of drugs stored in the ward.
In incidents where the experience can benefit patients and other hospitals, it will be shared among all hospitals under the Hospital Authority.
Dr KO WING-MAN for Chief Executive Hospital Authority