DR Susanna Lo of the Hospital Authority (HA) appears to be sadly ill-informed (South China Morning Post, May 6). Her comments prompt us to correct the wrong impressions given to your readers.
At present, the HA is actively attempting to reduce both training positions and service posts in some of the hospitals under its management. In addition, candidates trained by staff in Hongkong institutions can still obtain specialist qualifications from overseas colleges. A critical requirement for both is the availability of training positions to produce such specialists. The HA management has not addressed this need.
As for patient contact, Dr Lo may be surprised by the number of patients attending fine needle aspiration clinics run by histopathologists in many of the hospitals she administers and patient contact occurs in all areas of pathology.
Microbiologists, haematologists, immunologists, virologists, chemical pathologists similarly are also frequently directly involved with patient management. So, to suggest that the shortage is because there is a dearth of trained people in pathology is completely untrue.
Dr W. P. MAK Registrar on behalf of the Council, The Hongkong College of Pathologists