Authority urged not to challenge doctors' pay ruling

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 29 March, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 29 March, 2006, 12:00am

The Hospital Authority is under pressure not to appeal against a court decision ordering it to pay doctors for working statutory holidays and rest days.

The board will decide tomorrow whether to appeal.

Public hospital doctors yesterday launched an e-mail campaign to force the authority to abide by the court ruling.

On March 1, Court of First Instance Justice William Stone upheld a claim by 165 doctors that they were entitled to compensation for working on rest days and statutory holidays from 1996 to 2002.

One board member, medical sector legislator Kwok Ka-ki, said he hoped the board would not seek an appeal. 'It is very reasonable to compensate on legitimate holidays and rest days. By all means, we should try to accommodate the ruling and compensate staff. We owe them the holidays.'

The president of the Public Doctors' Association, Paul Shea Tat-ming, said the e-mails raised concerns about the lack of confidence in the authority management in dealing with the court ruling. Dr Shea said the authority had left a bad impression on staff by not keeping their promises in the past.

Leung Ka-lau, the former association president who is leading the doctors' court action, said the authority should have taken up an association offer four years ago that doctors could take the owed leave over several years.