Hong Kong health care and hospitals

Cathay Pacific salute to Hong Kong nurses recognises ordinary workers who keep city ticking

PUBLISHED : Monday, 21 May, 2018, 4:36pm
UPDATED : Monday, 21 May, 2018, 4:36pm

I recently saw on Facebook that Cathay Pacific, to mark International Nurses’ Day on May 12, is offering all nurses practising in Hong Kong complimentary access to their airport lounges until the end of November. 

As a former nurse myself, I appreciate this generous gesture, and the way Cathay framed the announcement – describing nurses as unsung superheroes – was really very apt. Nurses work incredibly long, often unsocial, hours in high-pressure environments. From the response I’ve seen online, there are many people who would agree with me.

It struck me, however, that Cathay’s initiative aside, the big Hong Kong “hongs” don’t seem to do very much to recognise everyday hardworking people who contribute to our city. Many may well do all sorts of wonderful things for their employees and highly valued customers; some also do important fundraising work for various charities. But mostly they neglect ordinary workers who are the real lifeblood of Hong Kong.

Why is this? Hong Kong is the world’s freest economy and corporate taxes here are among the lowest. In short, companies are given more advantages here than in most other places. So they should have a responsibility to “give back” to their home community – and they could do this most effectively by recognising the people that form the backbone of society. 

Shirley Wong, Tsing Yi