Hong Kong public hospitals look for more than just work experience in appointing consultants
I refer to Dr Ko Kai Ming’s letter (“How Hong Kong public hospitals are leaving senior doctors out in the cold”, October 9) expressing his personal views on the recruitment of consultants to the Cardiothoracic Surgery Department of Queen Elizabeth Hospital.
The Hospital Authority strives to maintain equity and fairness in staff recruitment and appointment processes. We treasure staff’s work experience, which lays a solid foundation for public health care. There is no doubt that work experience is one of the essential considerations for staff recruitment and appointment. However, it should not be the only determining factor in the appointment decision. At the Hospital Authority, the governing principle of appointment is to assess candidates based on their merits and work ethics, with a view to appointing the candidate of the highest calibre who is most suitable for the job.
To ensure impartiality and fairness in the selection process, it is the Hospital Authority’s established human resources policy that the selection board for consultant posts should include members of the hospital governing committee of the respective hospital and external experts of the profession, as well as the Hospital Authority’s head office and cluster management team. The selection board assesses the suitability of candidates from the corporate, cluster or hospital and clinical professional perspectives. At the conclusion of each interview, the selection board discusses and decides on the appointment of suitable candidates with due consideration to job requirements, work ethics required by the Hospital Authority and the individual applicants’ merits.
The recruitment exercise mentioned in Dr Ko’s letter has been reviewed thoroughly in accordance with the prevailing policies. The selection board was formed in accordance with the policy requirement. It gave due consideration not only to length of service and work experience, but also to job requirements, leadership, team building, service development and the merits of the individual candidates to select the most suitable candidates. The selection board members finally agreed on the appointments based on the candidates’ overall performances. In conclusion, no irregularity was discovered and the process was found to be in compliance with the relevant policies and procedures.
Dr Pang Fei-chau, Head of Human Resources, Hospital Authority