'Sixty private doctors offer to help hospitals' - RTHK
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'Sixty private doctors offer to help hospitals'

2020-02-03 HKT 11:32
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  • A Hospital Authority director says even though some 60 private doctors have offered to help, there are not enough of them to make up for the manpower shortfall. Photo: RTHK
    A Hospital Authority director says even though some 60 private doctors have offered to help, there are not enough of them to make up for the manpower shortfall. Photo: RTHK
The Hospital Authority’s director for cluster services Deacons Yeung says more than 60 private doctors have offered to work at public hospitals as thousands of public healthcare workers proceed with a strike on Monday.

The newly formed Hospital Authority Employees Alliance initiated the industrial action to force the government to completely close down Hong Kong’s border with the mainland, in view of the outbreak of the new coronavirus on the mainland.

Dr Yeung said despite the help from the private doctors, the shortfall in manpower was still serious. He urged staff not to go on strike and stay united to fight against the epidemic.

Meanwhile, Secretary for Labour and Welfare Law Chi-kwong said the public healthcare workers on strike actually have the same goal as the government, as both want to reduce the number of cross-border travellers.

He said the only difference between them is the means and speed of doing this, adding that officials will keep thinking of ways to reduce the number of cross-border travellers.

But Law noted some that 90 percent of them were Hongkongers and closing the border would mean they couldn’t get home.

Speaking on a radio programme, the labour chief also said the action of the alliance is legal, but he hoped medical workers would remain steadfast and put taking care of patients first.

He said that the anti-government protests in recent months had led to people to have less trust in the government, and some people believe taking various actions, even illegal ones, can force the administration to do what they want.