Talkback | South China Morning Post
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  • Mar 4, 2015
  • Updated: 5:22pm

Talkback

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 25 August, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 25 August, 2009, 12:00am

What do you think of the new MTR link?

I am disappointed with the recent train connection arrangement in Hung Hom. It is not user-friendly.

I think all frequent East Rail Line passengers to Tsim Sha Tsui station will agree that a six-minute wait during the rush hour (12 minutes outside the rush hour) on the platform to get a one-minute ride on the West Rail is unacceptable.

You sometimes are forced to run up the escalator, cross the lobby and run down another escalator to catch the train to Tsim Sha Tsui, that might leave at any time.

There is also congestion as East Rail passengers gather on the same crowded platform. Within minutes, the platform is packed.

The young MTR member of staff I saw had great difficulty trying to justify the inefficiency of the new connection system to the many shocked and frustrated passengers.

Tsim Sha Tsui station is the worst affected by the changes and this is wholly inappropriate.

Has the MTR Corporation considered the volume of passenger traffic at that station and how much time is being wasted by commuters every day?

This is causing a great deal of inconvenience to the travelling public.

N. Wong, Fo Tan

Do you have confidence in the public health system?

I refer to the report ('Baby mix-up inquiry points to 3 staff', August 18).

As a father, I would have been very concerned if my boy had been swapped with another baby while he was still in the hospital after being born. But I also have reservations about the approach of pinpointing three staff and passing the blame on to them.

It is common for the public to demand action, which inevitably involves holding someone responsible and taking corresponding disciplinary action.

However, if we look at the incident from a quality system standpoint, the issue is not simply about passing blame and introducing a minor change regarding bracelets.

Obviously procedures are in place to prevent mistakes from happening, but if the integrity of the procedures heavily relies on human beings to follow them, with minimal procedures to prevent mistakes from happening, the human factor will come into play and mistakes are bound to happen sooner or later.

The key is to minimise the influence of the human factor and to introduce mechanisms so that human errors simply cannot happen.

In the case of identification for newborn babies, the authorities should look at ways of minimising or eliminating any possibility of doubt in a baby's identity. Thanks to new technology, a non-toxic hypoallergenic skin transfer (similar to temporary tattoos) could be used. It stays on the skin for five to seven days.

Perhaps an even simpler way is to write the baby's identity on its torso with hypoallergenic ink (surgeons often mark on their patients' skin the part that they need to operate on). There are many ways to address this problem.

I only hope that the hospital's management and the Hospital Authority will look beyond procedures that are prone to human error and identify foolproof ways to prevent similar incidents from happening again.

Andrew Lee, Tung Chung

We cannot do without hospitals. From birth to death, they play a crucial role in our lives.

Therefore, I am concerned about a number of medical blunders in our public hospitals and I think it calls into question the professionalism of medical staff.

Take the latest blunder regarding the two newborn babies being mistakenly swapped.

It appears this happened due to an oversight by some ward staff.

This mistake was totally unacceptable and clearly the proper procedures should have been followed and were not.

I am worried that this might be the tip of the iceberg.

If the Hospital Authority is determined to stamp out blunders like this, it must find out why this happened. I wonder if part of the problem is due to there not being enough staff in our public hospitals.

If that is the case, more resources and manpower should be allocated to help alleviate the problem. The government must take this matter seriously.

Shirley Lau Suet-lai, Ma On Shan

In general, I do not have confidence in the public health system, although it is one of the best in the region.

There have been a number of incidents where mistakes have been made by some hospital staff.

Take, for example, the cases of some staff taking data about patients home on USB [flash drives] and losing it.

These kinds of careless mistakes have made many patients question their trust and level of confidence in the system as they cannot guarantee that there will not be any loss to patients.

When mistakes such as this are made in our public hospitals, there must be greater transparency ('Minister kept in dark for nine days over baby swap', August 19).

When there is a delay before information is disclosed, this makes people feel disappointed and angry.

If Hospital Authority chiefs want to rebuild confidence, they must try to ensure there are fewer mistakes and there must be greater transparency in the system.

Law Cheung-sing, Kwun Tong

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