Private hospitals urged to be more open

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 17 April, 1999, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 17 April, 1999, 12:00am

Private hospitals are being encouraged to join programmes to ensure quality and increase openness, legislators were told yesterday.

The proposal was prompted by a dialysis accident which killed three patients at the Hong Kong Sanatorium and Hospital last August.

The Health and Welfare Bureau said private hospitals should voluntarily pursue accreditation from overseas bodies until a local organisation was set up.

'By voluntarily seeking accreditation, the hospital demonstrates a willingness to have the quality of the care that it provides to the public independently evaluated and improved,' the bureau said.

Private hospitals would still be required to apply for licences from the Department of Health regardless of whether or not they were accredited.

At present, the quality of care at private hospitals is monitored by their own self-regulatory committees and the Department of Health through licensing procedures.