Still waiting for govt response: hospital union - RTHK
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Still waiting for govt response: hospital union

2020-02-06 HKT 12:33
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  • Still waiting for govt response: hospital union
  • The union leaders say closing the border was not their only demand. Photo: RTHK
    The union leaders say closing the border was not their only demand. Photo: RTHK
  • Some employees hug alliance chairwoman Winnie Yu who almost broke down at one point. Photo: RTHK
    Some employees hug alliance chairwoman Winnie Yu who almost broke down at one point. Photo: RTHK
Hospital workers who have been on strike since Monday say they are still waiting for the government's response to their demands over safety gear and will continue to stay off work if the Hospital Authority refuses to hold dialogue with them on Thursday.

The Hospital Authority Employees Alliance said their demands not only include a full border closure, but also a safe working environment for staff, such as the provision of sufficient protective gear.

If the safety of the medical workers can't be assured, how can people go back to work?, asked the alliance's vice-chairman Ivan Lam. If the workplace continues to be unsafe, the morale will be low and that could lead to people leaving their jobs, he warned.

The alliance said it will also assess whether a community outbreak has begun in Hong Kong. The union said it will rely on expert opinion over this and said several locally infected patients do not necessarily constitute a big community outbreak.

On Thursday morning, long queues of workers were seen outside several public hospitals across the city, as people waited to sign up for the strike.

The chairwoman of the alliance, Winnie Yu, and other union leaders thanked their colleagues for their show of support. A tired looking Yu at one point was on the verge of tears and was comforted by colleagues.

Many of the workers who joined the fourth day of strike action said they were not convinced by the government's plan to impose a 14-day quarantine on anyone entering Hong Kong from the mainland.

Some cited the lack of details on how the plan would work, while others said the move might increase pressure on Hong Kong's medical system.

Lee, a nurse who works in an intensive care unit, said people who fear they may not get treatment elsewhere might rush to Hong Kong and this would lead to more pressure on the SAR's hospitals.