THE new chief executive of the Prince of Wales Hospital praised staff for the achievements of the past decade but hoped the hospital would provide an even better service in the future. Dr Alison Reid, 37, took up the prestigious but demanding post this month after being in charge of Tasmania's 15 public hospitals for several years. Although she is still getting to grips with the hospital's network of corridors and Hong Kong, Dr Reid had clearly made time to do some homework. ''It is already evident to me that the hospital possesses characteristics usually associated with long-established and internationally prestigious hospitals,'' Dr Reid said. ''Its esprit de corps and the pride of its staff in what they contribute give me great hope that the hospital will continue to achieve well-deserved international recognition.'' Based on the needs of its patient population, the hospital would aim to acquire and apply advanced medical technology, Dr Reid said . To support this future, medical research would focus on developing innovative and cost-effective solutions to the health problems patients would confront in the coming decades. ''The community's expectations of health care services and the changing illness profile demand a forward-looking and flexible approach to research, education and the delivery of services,'' Dr Reid said. The prospect of the Prince of Wales Hospital seeking to establish alliances with prestigious Asian and international medical institutions also appealed to the new chief executive. ''Sharing knowledge and expertise in this way will enhance a world-class, comprehensive university-based, post-graduate and undergraduate medical, nursing and allied medical education programme,'' she said. The teaching hospital's rivalry with Queen Mary Hospital, Hong Kong's only other teaching hospital, was also something to be encouraged, Dr Reid said. ''This kind of rivalry exists in many other places in the world and can be quite healthy because it encourages people to strive to greater heights,'' she said. ''More is often achieved because both institutions want to be the first to do something and so work harder, which must ultimately be good for the patients.'' But it was important the resulting services could be easily accessed by patients through an effective and efficient patient referral system connecting hospitals in the area. In keeping with international trends, the Prince of Wales Hospital would also try to increase the use of same-day services and ambulatory care. ''It is inevitable that the demand for hospital services will increase and these initiatives will allow us to respond more effectively to the demands and expectations of the community,'' Dr Reid said. But she said the needs of the individual patient would remain paramount: the care of each was considered the hospital's reason for existence. The hospital also planned to become more involved in health promotion and preventative medicine activities. But in celebrating the 10th anniversary, Dr Reid said it was important to remember the dimensions in which the hospital existed. ''The hospital not only provides a focus for high-quality health care but also acts as a major employer, while in partnership with the Chinese University it plays an integral role in securing future standards of health care in Hong Kong,'' she said. In its relationship with the Hospital Authority, the Prince of Wales must also contribute to system-wide service improvement, Dr Reid said. ''There can be no doubt that the Prince of Wales Hospital is looking to a future based on excellence and continual improvement of health service delivery by motivated staff who take pride in their work. ''I look forward with great humility to the contribution I can make to this goal as hospital chief executive.''