Letters to the editor, March 23, 2016
More frontline public hospital nurses needed
I refer to the report “Overworked nurses appeal for more help in flu fight” (March 17).
The government has to introduce emergency measures to deal with this problem at public hospitals as soon as possible.
It must ensure the pressure is relieved for these nurses and that the hospitals are able to provide a quality service. It should arrange for regular counselling to be made available to nurses who need it.
It makes no sense for the Hospital Authority to add more beds but not more manpower. Nurses are so disappointed with what has happened and this will create a viscous circle.
It is also important for Hong Kong citizens to act responsibly. It is wrong for people to abuse the ambulance service and we should not call for an ambulance unless it is absolutely necessary. For non-urgent cases patients should go to their nearest clinic to see a doctor.
I do not think paying nurses overtime is the solution. Instead the government should be trying to recruit more frontline nurses to deal with the flu crisis. Public hospital nurses would rather have more helping hands than overtime pay.
I hope that with the cooperatin of citizens and the government, there will be some relief for our overworked nurses.
Angela Wong, Lam Tin
Room for zoo in one of our country parks
I refer to the report on the condition of the animals in our zoo (“Cage fight: row brews over conditions at Hong Kong zoo in a concrete jungle”, March 12) .
I think a broader perspective is required, which is that Hong Kong is probably one of the few international cities without a proper zoo.
This is despite the fact that we have the space (any of the (country parks or an area in the New Territories could accommodate a zoo), money (look at government surpluses) and the need (tourism is too dependent on shopping and needs diversification).
The government should launch an initiative to build a proper zoo to which the animals in the present zoo can be relocated.
It will be wonderful for children of this city and will also provide one more reason for people to visit Hong Kong and stay an extra day.
Rahil Ahuja, Repulse Bay
Leave precious natural havens untouched
I am against proposals to build homes in country parks.
They are important places for Hongkongers to relieve stress, a precious natural resource where people can go for activities such as hiking. Also, the country parks are mostly in hilly areas of Hong Kong and it would be logistically difficult to build apartment blocks.
We need to solve the housing shortage, but a better solution would be to dismantle older buildings in the city and replace them with new high-rises.
Jason Luk, Tseung Kwan O
Provide extra flats with good town planning
Chief executive Leung Chun-ying has suggested building homes in areas of country parks that are not ecologically sensitive.
There is no doubt that land supply is a serious problem, but it would be imprudent to try and solve it by constructive apartment blocks in country parks.
Environmental groups are against this proposal, and will also oppose plans for more reclamation projects and the creation of artificial islands.
The government should instead be looking at the development of brownfield sites and more efficient town planning policies, to meet the demand for housing. Our country parks are important natural resources.
Anson Chan, Ho Man Tin
Path worse after repairs on Wilson Trail
Randall van der Woning is quite right in his concern about the pouring of concrete and erecting railings on hiking trails “where none are required” (“Don’t use concrete to fix damaged trails”, March 10).
Walking stage three of the Wilson Trail earlier this month, both ills were in evidence. Stairs had been very poorly repaired with concrete, making them more dangerous as they were uneven and contributed to soil erosion. They also made for a less comfortable and healthy underfoot walking environment.
Railings reduce the useable width of some sections from two to one person, making passing oncoming hikers awkward, without offering any significant safety benefit.
Christopher Ruane, Sheung Wan
Outdated assumptions about degrees
The frequency of suicides among young people in Hong Kong, with four students taking their own lives over just five days, demonstrates the burden faced by students in the city.
The idea that earning a degree ensures you will enjoy a comfortable lifestyle is completely outdated.
Being a graduate from one of Hong Kong’s universities is no longer a guarantee of a good career. Young people in schools and universities face a lot of problems and all stakeholders must look at how they can be helped.
In secondary schools, students have worries over their Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education (HKDSE) exam results.
That result can determine their fate in terms of their future careers.
The pressure many feel because of the HKDSE can cause them a great deal of anxiety and even drive some teenagers to commit suicide. Another exam option should be made available by the Education Bureau so that they have another option and a second chance to achieve their goals.
This recent spate of suicides should have led to a prompt and effective response by the bureau but this has not happened.
Secondary Six students face a great deal of stress in their efforts to get into university, with about 20 of them competing for one place at a local university.
Parents should not put their children under too much pressure. They need to give them room to grow and develop their own interests.
All stakeholders in society have a collective responsibility to ease the burden felt by so many youngsters.
Chan King-yi, Lai Chi Kok
Teachers are able to help troubled teens
Students in Hong Kong suffer a great deal of stress because of the amount of homework they have to do and the number of tests and exams they must sit.
Those who struggle to deal with the pressure will often suffer psychological problems and some have taken their own lives. When they choose the latter option, it is irrevocable and affects family and friends. It may be a momentary decision and a possible bright future is snuffed out.
Students who are troubled should not feel scared to talk to their teachers. They will find them willing to listen. That is certainly the case in my school. If a student is feeling stressed about the workload the teacher might be able to help by giving them less homework at weekends. They can also turn to family members and friends.
The most important thing is that these youngsters realise they are not alone.
Emily Yeung, Sham Shui Po