Queen Mary Hospital, the city's top public hospital, is 'shrinking' because of inadequate resources and a serious manpower shortage, the hospital's head of surgery Professor Fan Sheung-tat says. Fan, also head of surgery at the University of Hong Kong, is the second surgeon from the hospital to openly express frustration at a lack of funding from the Hospital Authority. Fan said the unfair funding model for the Pok Fu Lam teaching hospital had seriously affected its medical services, which would be a great loss to Hong Kong. Fan, also known as the 'father of liver transplants' in Hong Kong, said his repeated calls for increased resources for the hospital had fallen on deaf ears. 'I have raised the issue with the Hospital Authority but there is no response,' he said. Authority chairman Anthony Wu Ting-yuk met the surgical team yesterday to hear their grievances. Head of the hospital's liver transplant team, Professor Lo Chung-mau, warned earlier this week that the city's only liver transplant centre would not be able to maintain its excellence because of inadequate resources and a brain drain. Fan said: 'Queen Mary Hospital takes care of the most complicated cases in Hong Kong, this is our commitment and responsibility. However, resources given to each surgery at our hospital are just the same as other public hospitals.' He pointed out that the manpower needs for very complex operations were double that of normal operations and the time taken was longer. He said the funding mechanism should be reformed to give more weight to complexity, instead of merely quantity. Early this month, 16 nurses - almost half the number supposed to be on duty in operating theatres - took sick leave to protest against long working hours. The nurses complained they had had to work up to four hours extra a day because of staff shortages following the departure of 11 nurses over the past three months. The hospital has cut the number of operations by about 10 per cent to ease the pressure on nurses. Four of the 20 intensive care beds have been shut because of the nursing shortage. Fan said more operations could be cut if the shortage was not addressed. Operations to remove benign tumours, for example, have been postponed by four to six weeks, on top of the average six months' waiting time. Fan said despite the hospital administration's promise to improve manpower in the next few months, there was no long-term solution or pledge to increase resources. A consultant liver surgeon, one of four in the public sector who can conduct a liver transplant, will leave at the end of the month. Fan said the liver transplant team needed at least 50 per cent more doctors and nurses to deal with increasing demand. Wu said yesterday that the authority's new performance-based funding for public hospitals launched this year would give more weight to complexity of services. 'We will actively look at how the funding model can better fit the situation of teaching hospitals.' Wu said he was aware of the grievances of the surgical team and would address the problems: 'We appreciate doctors and nurses who decide to stay in the public sector.'