Authority must change gruelling schedule in government hospitals

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 23 January, 2002, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 23 January, 2002, 12:00am

I was appalled to learn that only 60 per cent of 90 clinical departments in 11 major public hospitals in Hong Kong give rest days to doctors every week.

Although they receive very attractive remuneration packages compared with the rest of the workforce, they should be entitled to at least one day off every week. Also, as one of the biggest public bodies, the Hospital Authority should comply with labour laws.

If doctors are not allowed any time off this will adversely affect their family and social lives.

Take my friend as an example. When she was a houseman in a government hospital she was too busy to meet her friends and even her family members and was always put on standby. She told me that she was very unhappy in her work and was under tremendous pressure. She could only relax when she had two days off every three months.

Because of the economic recession and retrenchment measures introduced by the Government, some medical students have found they are unable to enter the medical profession in Hong Kong after they have graduated. This is a waste of taxpayers' money spent to educate them and a waste of their efforts at university.

I hope the Hospital Authority will try to rectify the situation by recruiting more doctors as soon as possible, otherwise we might find that outstanding students eager to train as medics could have a change of heart and choose another profession.


Tuen Mun