Executive councillor Regina Ip on Monday urged hospital patients to come forward if their health suffered due to last week's strike by doctors, nurses and medical assistants, saying people could get compensation through the courts.
Ip said a number of elderly people had already contacted her after their hospital care was affected by the strike, which was called to demand the government fully seal the city's borders over the mainland's coronavirus epidemic.
But she said those complaints would not be sufficient for a civil case against the union behind the industrial action, the Hospital Authority Employees Alliance.
"Even in civil law, the threshold for compensation is quite high. But if there are really serious cases, like newborn babies unable to get ICU treatment, cancer patients whose surgery was rescheduled to that they suffered material, physical, or other mental issues, then they could, under the law, make a case for civil compensation," Ip said.
"All I want to know is whether such cases exist," she told RTHK's Janice Wong, adding that she thinks patients' rights should also be protected.
Several thousand hospital workers joined the strike action from Monday to Friday last week, before the majority who took part in a union vote opted to go back to work.
As well as a full border closure, they were also demanding adequate protective gear and equipment for staff due to the virus outbreak that has seen at least 36 people in Hong Kong infected.