John Tsang eager to get back to work after surgery

Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah, recovering from heart surgery last weekend, said yesterday his work would not be affected by his illness, but it had reminded him of the importance of having 'a splendid life'.

Six days after emergency surgery at Queen Mary Hospital, Tsang was discharged yesterday morning to join his family for Mid-Autumn Festival celebrations.

Tsang, 58, hopes to return to work as soon as possible. His press secretary said Tsang would rest at home and could resume work as early as this week.

Leaving the hospital in good spirits but still looking a little pale, the financial secretary read a short statement, beginning with special thanks to the public, and to hospital and ambulance staff for their care over the past few days.

Tsang also showed his confidence in being able to return to work in a short period of time.

'I would like to resume work as soon as possible,' he said. 'I believe this [operation] will definitely, definitely not affect my work in the future.

'I will pay more attention to my health and continue my service to the public.'

Asked if the operation had given him cause to reflect on life, a smiling Tsang replied: 'I think what is important for us is to have a splendid life for every minute and every second; also to get our jobs done.'

Tsang, who practised kung fu in his younger days, offered special thanks to those who had brought him kung fu tips during his recovery in hospital.

While saying that Tsang had fully recovered, Dr Stephen Lee Wai-luen, the head of the hospital's cardiology division, also noted that the financial secretary had been an urgent case when admitted.

'His blood pressure readings could hardly be measured at the time,' Lee said, referring to the critical moment when Tsang was admitted to hospital last Sunday.

Tsang underwent balloon angioplasty - a procedure in which narrowed arteries are widened by inserting balloons - just hours after returning from the G20 leaders' summit in the United States.

Lee said Tsang had suffered from a heart attack caused by a restriction of blood flow to the heart muscle. About 10 per cent of patients would suffer a recurrence.

He said Tsang could continue practising kung fu but would need to be promptly admitted to hospital in case of another heart attack.

The financial secretary has kept a hectic schedule recently.

Shortly before his trip to Pittsburgh for the G20 leaders' summit, he attended a meeting of G20 finance ministers and central bank governors in London.

Before his heart attack, Tsang had also been scheduled to make another trip yesterday, to the International Monetary Fund's annual meeting in Istanbul.