23rd June, 2000
Hong Kong Doctors Union representing 1,500 private and public doctors fully supports the 6-25 sit-in demonstration of the public doctors in their call to the Hospital Authority to improve their working conditions, to reduce their overwhelming work load and particularly to rescind the new two-tier system.
The two-tier system misleads the public that all services will be personally attended to by specialists which in reality is impossible due to the shortage of staff. Doctors are human beings too and it is astonishing to learn from the Hong Kong Public Doctors Association that doctors have to work up to 100 hours a week. We are afraid that under the new system, the quality of health care delivered to the Hong Kong citizens will be jeopardized ultimately.
With this new system, the salary entry points of doctors are lowered making the medical sector's pay much lower than that of other professionals, a phenomenon not found in other countries.
As we have pointed out in our previous submission to the government on future Hong Kong Health Care Reform, the current state of overwhelmed and overloaded public medical services was entirely due to irrational and unnecessary expansion of the Hospital Authority in her attempt to draw more public funds over the past 10 years. By exaggerating the demand for medical services, the Hospital Authority has been expanding at the expense of the private medical sector. Now she finally has to come to terms that she cannot have unlimited resources forever, and has to clearly define her role of providing a safety net for the community and to establish a new equilibrium with the private medical sector.
The Hospital Authority has to be honest that with her limited budget, she should stop making unrealistic and extravagant promises to the public. It is totally unfair for our public colleagues to be exploited while the Hospital Authority continues to boast unrealistic upgrade of services, which is their usual excuse in attempts to draw funds from the government.
Contact person: Ms. Joanna Mak, Administrative Secretary, Hong Kong Doctors Union
Contact phone: 2388 2728