Patients can expect to see a lot more of their doctors from today, as a boycott of clerical work and non-clinical meetings begins at public hospitals. Labour Day for Hong Kong's 3,000 hospital doctors means day one of industrial action to protest over health funding cuts. The doctors have already discussed the second stage of industrial action. Public Doctors Association president Dr Poon Tak-lun said yesterday: 'We have briefly mentioned things we would have to do if we have to escalate industrial action. 'We are very reluctant to launch it. But we can just say that for the next step, the care of our patients will not be affected.' As for today's action, Dr Poon said: 'You will probably see more doctors with patients because they're not in meetings.' In a statement, the Hospital Authority said it would deploy secretarial and clerical staff to offset the doctors' action. The statement added: 'The [authority] has communicated and will continue to communicate with both the [association] and staff on the rationale of the new funding arrangements.'