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Hong Kong health care and hospitals

Tin Shui Wai Hospital eyes expanded services, will offer 24-hour emergency care

The announcement comes as Hong Kong continues to grapple with flu season and the demand for hospital beds remains high

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 27 February, 2018, 5:59pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 27 February, 2018, 6:14pm

Tin Shui Wai Hospital will extend operation of its accident and emergency unit to 24 hours and launch inpatient services in November, Hong Kong’s food and health secretary said on Tuesday.

Before the hospital offers round-the-clock emergency care, it will extend the operating hours to 12 hours a day from March 21, offering the services from 8am to 8pm.

Since the unit was opened in March last year, the hospital offers emergency services for eight hours daily, from 8am to 4pm.

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“Depending on the availability of manpower and resources … in November this year the accident and emergency services would be further extended to 24 hours,” said Secretary for Food and Health Professor Sophia Chan Siu-chee at a tree planting ceremony at the hospital on Tuesday. “Inpatient emergency services would also be launched.”

Dr Deacons Yeung Tai-kong, the hospital’s chief executive, said there would be 32 beds at the emergency medicine ward when the inpatient service begins in November.

“The service could help [share the burden of] inpatient emergency services at Pok Oi Hospital and Tuen Mun Hospital,” said Yeung, referring to the two hospitals which are also located in New Territories West.

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Chan said currently there are around 180 people a day seeking medical care from the hospital’s accident and emergency unit. The number is expected to increase to about 250 when the daily operating hours are extended to 12 next month.

She said more staff would be hired when the hospital further expanded its services.

Service demand at public hospitals during the flu season remained high. According to latest statistics from the Hospital Authority, 6,069 people visited the city’s public accident and emergency units on Monday. Overall bed occupancy rate at public medical wards was 115 per cent.

Meanwhile, Gleneagles Hong Kong Hospital, a private institution in Wong Chuk Hang, has launched its obstetrics services.

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The service, launched on Friday, is equipped with 16 beds and a neonatal intensive care unit.

Dirk Schraven, the hospital’s chief executive officer, said the neonatal intensive care unit would provide “extra safety” to newborn babies. Currently the unit has one bed, which costs at least HK$6,500 a day.

So far two babies have been born in the hospital, and there were more than 20 confirmed bookings for delivery services.