Duchess of Kent Children’s Hospital will use a 3D printer to make braces for patients suffering a spinal condition – a breakthrough that will slash waiting times and benefit 275 youngsters in the coming year. In announcing details of its 2015/2016 annual plan, the Hong Kong West group of hospitals also said it would hire 300 more staff – mostly nurses – to combat shortages and growing demand for medical services. Scoliosis patients now have to wait up to four months for a brace – to treat curvature of the spine – but the new machine will cut production time to a matter of hours as patients will no longer have to undergo plaster-casting. Waiting times will be shortened to around six weeks. The machine will arrive at the hospital in Sandy Bay, Pok Fu Lam, late next month. Prince of Wales Hospital in Sha Tin, which also treats scoliosis, has already adopted similar technology. Every year about 1,500 scoliosis patients are referred to the two public hospitals. READ MORE: Hong Kong's donor dilemma: Call for review after doctors shelved dying man's liver transplant because donor had kidney cancer Dr Luk Che-chung, chief of the hospital group, admitted yesterday that the private Gleneagles Hospital in Wong Chuk Hang, which will start running in 2017, had created more manpower pressure. “We are a bit worried as the hospital is close to us,” Luk said, adding that some staff might be tempted to move in pursuit of their careers. Queen Mary Hospital in Pok Fu Lam will hire 30 extra nurses to ease the manpower shortfall, while the hospital group will also carry out an extra 570 endoscopic procedures. And four rehabilitation beds in the children’s hospital in Sandy Bay are to be converted into designated beds for ventilator-assisted patients. Meanwhile, the Hospital Authority is reviewing guidelines on organ transplants after cancer was detected in the body of an organ donor last month, forcing a liver transplant to be aborted at the last minute. It has also found a contractor to replace Shum Wan Laundry , believed to be the source of a fungal infection at Queen Mary Hospital in the summer.