Did Typhoon Mangkhut see Hong Kong’s Hospital Authority fail compassion test?
As a former employee of the Hospital Authority, I was jolted out of my complacency when I heard that the authority was penalising staff for not returning to work during Typhoon Mangkhut. Most hospital staff rely on public transport to get to work. Remember that public transport remained severely affected not only during the storm but for two full days after.
Mangkhut was Hong Kong’s strongest typhoon since the Observatory started keeping records in 1946, and it will not be the last. Witness the complete flattening of communities in Florida when Typhoon Michael hit. The destruction wrought by natural disasters has been increasing all over the world.
The Hospital Authority’s stance is certainly disheartening. At a time when there are reports of overworked doctors and nurses, a more positive approach would have been appreciated.
The authority should make preparations for dealing with the next such event. It should also make arrangements for proper accommodation and emergency food supplies for those unfortunate enough to be caught at work during a disaster. It could even consider making its own transport arrangements for staff.
Dr N.S. Fernando, Sha Tin