PATIENTS and medical staff must communicate better if misunderstandings are to be avoided, the Hospital Authority's chief executive said yesterday. In a radio programme addressing anxiety over a recent spate of medical blunders, Dr Yeoh Eng-kiong said most patients dared not ask doctors about their treatment and doctors were often unwilling to discuss it. 'In our analysis of the complaints, we've found that most of the incidents were not related to the medical standard but poor communications between doctors and patients,' he said. Dr Yeoh said the authority would encourage patients to talk to medical staff more about their condition and the treatment. He said similar communication problems also emerged during the transfer of patients between private hospitals and Health Department clinics. Experienced doctors and nurses had been asked to do less administration and concentrate more on clinical duties, he said. A review involving lay people is to look into the cause of a spate of mistakes at hospitals. Dr Yeoh is seeking the views of all 180 heads of department.