A group yesterday accused the government of misleading the public in its consultation document on health care reforms by understating the importance of Ruttonjee and Tang Shiu Kin Hospital. The Concern Alliance for Ruttonjee and Tang Shiu Kin Hospital Accident and Emergency Service was set up last month to oppose a government plan to turn the 24-hour accident and emergency unit at the hospital into a walk-in clinic or reduce the service to either eight or 12 hours to cut costs. The alliance has lodged a complaint with legislators saying residents will be forced to travel to Pamela Youde Nethersole Hospital in Chai Wan or Queen Mary Hospital in Pokfulam for emergency treatment, more than half an hour's drive away during rush hour. Alliance convenor Duncan Tsang Fan-wan accused the government of using selective statistics to play down Ruttonjee's role as an emergency care provider. Referring to documents and maps from the Fire Department, he said Ruttonjee served residents from Central to Fortress Hill, and south to Wong Chuk Hang and Shouson Hill. Including workers and visitors to the district, he said the hospital's emergency ward catered for 600,000 people, as opposed to the government's estimate of 160,000 to 170,000 residents in Wan Chai district. 'Even if we use the government estimate of 170,000 residents, there are only 300 beds in the accident and emergency unit, an average of 1.8 beds per 1,000 residents. That's less than the government's own recommendation of 2.1 emergency beds. So why reduce the service further?' he said. Ruttonjee received more patients by ambulance and more shooting victims than Queen Mary or Pamela Youde, a fact omitted by the consultation paper, he said. The alliance urged the government to drop its plans. Legislators promised to raise the matter with Secretary for Health, Food and Welfare York Chow Yat-ngok. A Hospital Authority spokeswoman reiterated there were no plans to close the Ruttonjee unit and said future restructuring of medical services 'will ensure Island East district residents have access to appropriate emergency care'.