Choice of cost versus lives 'up to society'

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 18 May, 1999, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 18 May, 1999, 12:00am

Doctors should not be forced to choose between saving costs and saving lives, a Hospital Authority board member said yesterday after liver-transplant surgeons were asked to refuse patients.

The liver-transplant team at Queen Mary Hospital has complained that the authority is failing to give it reasonable resources and had suggested it consider rejecting patients.

Authority board member and legislator Michael Ho Mun-ka said yesterday a clear health policy was urgently needed.

'When resources are being limited more and more, it's inevitable some patients cannot be saved. We cannot put all the money into one service just because some doctors complain,' he said.

'It should be society as a whole that decides what kind of medical services we should provide.' Another board member, Dr Conrad Lam Kui-shing, said he would follow up the issue at an authority committee meeting.