Patient Safety

SCMP Debate

A major challenge chief executive-elect Leung Chun-ying faces on taking office is improving Hong Kong's hospital system. The medical sector is intended to be one of the city's pillar industries. But hospitals face a chronic shortage of doctors and nurses.

Monday, 16 April, 2012, 12:00am

Patient dies in drug mix-up, woman given wrong blood in latest risk list

A chronically ill patient died after being given incompatible drugs, and another is recovering from a transfusion of the wrong blood type - the latest cases in a growing list of blunders at public hospitals.

The Hospital Authority would not elaborate on the two incidents, which were revealed yesterday in its latest 'Risk Alert'.

28 Jan 2012 - 12:00am

Hospital blunders increase by a third

Serious medical blunders in public hospitals increased by a third last year, lawmakers were told yesterday.

Experts and patients' groups blamed staff shortages and poor management, which they say are eroding morale.

10 Jan 2012 - 12:00am

Hospitals should own up to errors

I wish to discuss the recent increase in medical blunders. On October 4, a newborn baby was dropped at Baptist Hospital. But the baby wasn't seriously injured, so the hospital didn't regard it as a serious case, or report it.

Problems with blood transfusions and staff damaging a baby's arteries at other hospitals also made the headlines.

20 Dec 2011 - 12:00am

Hospital system in need of overhaul

A series of medical incidents at Tuen Mun Hospital has prompted yet another review of our health care system. This time the Hospital Authority is to focus on clinical governance across all hospitals after three specialists failed to spot signs of internal bleeding from a brain scan and prescribed the wrong medicine to an elderly man.

6 Dec 2011 - 12:00am

Hospitals should report violence

Doctors are sworn not to do anything that would harm their patients. The Department of Health and the Medical Council are the responsible watchdogs.

17 Sep 2011 - 12:00am

Rules on quality thought key as private care grows

More patients are likely to turn to private medical services under the government's proposed medical insurance scheme, a senior medical source says, and that means the government should make changes in its quality assurance programme.

9 Jul 2011 - 12:00am

Long hours mean errors in diagnosis, doctors say

Most public doctors say working long hours affects their job performance and medical judgment while on duty, according to a new survey.

Eight out of 10 doctors surveyed said overwork affected their ability to conduct proper diagnosis, and four out of 10 admitted they had committed medical errors as a result.

18 Apr 2011 - 12:00am

Act now to raise medical standards

With many people leading unhealthy lifestyles, there is a rising demand for medical services in Hong Kong. People expect hospitals to offer top-quality care despite the increasing pressure on medical staff.

The recent series of medical errors in public hospitals is a cause for concern.

4 Apr 2011 - 12:00am

A simple checklist to save thousands of lives

A simple procedure is saving thousands of lives. Although it has been known for many years, it has not been widely used. This approach shows how sometimes simple ideas that respond to real needs can have a dramatic impact on people's lives and health.

22 Mar 2010 - 12:00am

Hospitals eager for external vetting

Five public and three private hospitals in Hong Kong will for the first time undergo the same external accreditation early next year in a government effort to standardise the quality of medical care.

13 Oct 2009 - 12:00am

New measures aim to prevent blunders in public hospitals

The Hospital Authority yesterday announced six ways it aims to raise its game after a series of medical blunders that have hit public confidence in the health care system.

But unions and patient groups said they were worried that the new measures would increase pressure on frontline medical workers and might, therefore, make service quality worse.

22 Sep 2009 - 12:00am

liberal studies

Reading comprehension

Read each question carefully and circle the correct answer.

1 According to Professor Vincent Lee Hon-leung, why should drug prescription and dispensing be separated?

a. It would safer for patients.

b. It would be cheaper.

c. It would make for better healthcare.

15 Sep 2009 - 12:00am

Missing the obvious

In an attempt to restore confidence after a flurry of blunders, the Hospital Authority is reportedly planning to establish a 'court of discipline and professional competency' for proceedings against staff involved in serious adverse events.

15 Sep 2009 - 12:00am


Hospital chiefs are to blame for low morale

As a middle manager in a Hospital Authority hospital, I was upset by comments made on television by Undersecretary for Food and Health Gabriel Leung on the medical incidents at North District and Prince of Wales hospitals.

5 Sep 2009 - 12:00am