Letters to the Editor, March 10, 2017
Temporary clinics can deal with flu cases
Every year during the peak flu season, public hospitals struggle to cope with the increased number of patients.
The latest government figures show high bed occupancy rates in wards, for example, topping 100 per cent in medical and paediatric wards at Tuen Mun Hospital.
The Hospital Authority should be implementing additional measures to deal with this massive influx of patients, such as setting up temporary general outpatient clinics near hospitals. If this is not deemed feasible, the authority should extend the opening hours of the existing outpatient clinics.
Many people will go to these clinics rather than visit a private doctor because they are cheaper. But often they are fully booked, especially during the flu season. Just to getting through to the clinic to make a reservation could entail phoning the reservation hotline three or four times.
If the clinics’ hours are not extended, more people will go instead to accident and emergency units in public hospitals, putting even more pressure on these departments which are already busy. Also, they are supposed to be for medical emergencies, not non-urgent cases.
The authority has to put these contingency measures in place and relieve the pressure on hospitals.
Ronnie Tse, Tseung Kwan O
Young adults worried about high prices
I agree with the results of a survey about how different generations view poverty (“Poverty worries the young more than older people”, March 3).
The minimum wage will be raised in May to HK$34.50, but that is not much help for young adults having to cope with high inflation in Hong Kong.
Many of them earn low wages. If they are staying at home they will have to give some of that to their parents. They see little chance of having enough to own a home and worry about poverty.
Elderly people are in often in a more comfortable situation. In addition to their savings, they receive the Old Age Living Allowance.
The government should do more to try and tackle inflation and formulate policies to tackle youth poverty.
Kary Li Tsz-ki, Kowloon Tong
US citizens will see claims as ridiculous
I think many Americans will think that President Donald Trump’s claims about his predecessor are ridiculous (“ ‘New low’: Trump accuses Obama of tapping his phone”, March 4).
During the presidential campaign, all that then-president Barack Obama did to oppose Trump was campaign in support of Hillary Clinton. These eavesdropping claims are unfounded.
Obama is a man of integrity who while in office did a lot of good to help citizens. I think people will see him has having been a very effective president.
Katie Sze Ching-man, Tseung Kwan O
Tobacco tax hike leads to fewer smokers
I think it is unfortunate that the tax on tobacco was not raised in the budget last month.
An increase should have been announced by the financial secretary, because whenever that happens, you see a decrease in tobacco sales.
The price hike obviously persuades some people that it is too expensive to keep smoking and they give up, especially those on low incomes.
It can also put off some teenagers who plan to start smoking. Another advantage of raising taxes is that it gives the government an avenue for additional revenue.
That extra money should be used specifically to organise exhibitions and lectures in secondary schools, explaining the health risks associated with smoking and raising awareness among teenagers.
Yu Hoi-yan, Kowloon Tong
Help available for victims of cyberbullying
The article (“Blogger recalls cyberbullying, shares insights”, March 4), highlights the fact that cyberbullying is now a serious problem.
Ruby Tang Hoi-man shared her experiences of being ostracised on the internet when she was 16.
She found it to be a traumatic experience and would not leave home for a month. However, she eventually managed to deal with it “after being encouraged by a group of new friends”.
Getting that kind of help is important. Youngsters who find themselves to be the victims of cyberbullying should not bottle up their feelings, because the problem can get worse.
They need to talk about it with their family and report it to police.
The police and schools can help young people who are victims so they can get back to leading normal lives.
Vivian Lam Ching-man, Tsuen Wan
Draft policies so teens can realise dreams
Our teenage years should be some of the best times of our lives, when we have dreams about the future and still see life as a big adventure.
Tragically, students who took their own lives did not see their teen years in that way, and did not regard the time as a rite of passage. When we see reports of yet another student suicide, we have to ask what has gone wrong with our society.
Our policymakers must share the blame. For too long, the emphasis in Hong Kong has been on economic gains for the city. The government has not allowed the education system to encourage creativity and diversity. It has not invested enough in the arts, culture and sport.
Teenagers are expected to conform to the expectations of the mainstream in society, when it comes to choice of subjects, career path and other important decisions about their lives. Being a teenager should mean that sometimes you can follow your dreams and work towards a future that you have chosen.
I wish policymakers could recognise this and be more flexible, so that young people can enjoy their time at school and be more positive about their future.
Chiu Ching-yeung, Ap Lei Chau
HK has relied for decades on reclamation
I should like to remind all those who have stood firm against the use of reclamation to realise what a great disservice they are doing to their fellow citizens.
Nearly all new towns relied on reclamation, beginning with Kwun Tong and Tsuen Wan, then Sha Tin and Tai Po circling the New Territories to Tuen Mun and Tseung Kwan O.
Reclamation from the sea has been our godsend, Kai Tak and Chek Lap Kok, Disneyland, Plover Cove – all depended on the sea.
Through all these years we have looked to the sea.
Now there are those who raise their selfish objections, to the point that last year the amount reclaimed was zero. It is time to think again and, like Singapore, look to our salvation.
David Akers-Jones, Tsim Sha Tsui