HK hospitals overloaded as winter flu season nears

02-Dec-2021 Intellasia | TheStandard | 5:02 AM Print This Post

Hong Kong’s hospitals are running beyond their capacity on Tuesday, with the A&E departments crowded with thousands of patients as the winter flu season arrives in the city next month.

On Tuesday, the number of people who used the Accident and Emergency services reached 5,144 people, according to the Hospital Authority.

The medical inpatient bed occupancy rate was 103 percent on average. It means some patients had to stay in temporary beds in hospital corridors.

The occupancy rates reached a whopping 117 percent in Pok Oi Hospital, while Tseung Kwan O Hospital, United Christian Hospital, and Prince of Wales Hospital also recorded an occupancy rate of 113 percent.

As for pediatric inpatient beds, the occupancy rate stands at 68 percent.

Meanwhile, as of 1pm on Wednesday, the wait time for Accident and Emergency services at most public hospitals in Hong Kong is estimated to be around one to two hours, except for Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern Hospital with an estimated wait time of over eight hours.

The Hospital Authority’s Chief manager, Dr Michael Wong Lap-gate, said yesterday that the Authority will launch a series of response measures starting December to cope with the increase in demand for public hospital services, as the weather is turning cooler and the winter service surge is anticipated.

Wong said the Authority has allocated over HK$700 million in funding to public hospitals, along with resources for the hospitals to open an extra 323 new hospital beds, and another 800 temporary beds according to operational needs.

He also said the Authority is planning to hire another 200 doctors, 1,230 nurses, and 370 allied health professionals.


Category: Hong Kong

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