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Hong Kong health care and hospitals

Why older workers in Hong Kong must undergo regular health checks

  • There is nothing wrong with older professionals profiting from their knowledge, but health checks are needed to ensure the quality of their work
PUBLISHED : Thursday, 03 January, 2019, 1:04pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 03 January, 2019, 1:04pm

I refer to the debate about whether to set an upper age limit for medical practitioners in Hong Kong. While there is no age limit in countries like the US and the UK, others, like Australia, require doctors aged 70 and above to undergo regular health checks to prove they are fit to continue their professional practice.

It is true that the knowledge and experience of our older doctors are to be treasured, especially when our public health sector is experiencing a serious shortage of manpower. However, it is disturbing that there is no mandatory mechanism, like health checks, to ensure our doctors have the physical and mental strength to fulfil their duties. This is an overwhelming public expectation.

I believe that other professionals, not just doctors, should also be required to undergo health checks after a certain age.

I belong to the construction industry and have worked with many experienced engineers and surveyors aged over 65. Many of them are still very energetic and efficient, but not all. In some extreme cases, I have come across old surveyors who have difficulties reading even a short article. Ironically, they are paid to endorse various statutory plans and survey reports. This not only casts doubt on the quality of work supervised by them, but can also pose a significant threat to public safety.

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The introduction of more regulations in the industry has brought tremendous opportunities for them to earn more. There is nothing wrong with older professionals profiting from their knowledge, but health checks are needed to ensure the quality of their work.

Goldman Chan, Sham Shui Po