Government 'must explain clinics plan better' - RTHK
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Government 'must explain clinics plan better'

2020-02-16 HKT 13:12
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  • Government 'must explain clinics plan better'
An Executive Council member and high-profile doctor says the government can do much better in explaining its plans for a network of dedicated coronavirus clinics that have sparked a storm of protest across the SAR.

Lam Ching-choi made the comments on Sunday, a day after police arrested 33 people who protested against plans for a clinic in Tin Shui Wai. There were also street protests in Aberdeen, Kennedy Town and Tai Po against clinics there.

Health authorities say the clinics are intended to come into use if the coronavirus outbreak deepens and will treat people with minor symptoms of Covid-19, easing the pressure on public hospitals and sparing patients a long journey.

Critics say the government has not consulted communities and should not be setting up clinics in residential areas.

"It is our responsibility to communicate to the public what is the exact arrangement for the designated clinics, how to make sure that these clinics will not affect the surrounding neighbourhood," said Lam, who is a specialist in paediatrics and community medicine.

"I think that we can do better. As far as I, myself, am concerned, I would like to pledge to the public that, according to various experts ... they regard all this setting up of the clinics as proper, hygienic and safe."

Meanwhile the chairman of the Hospital Authority, Henry Fan, has condemned vandalism of public hospitals and clinics, calling on people not to tolerate such behaviour and to unite to battle against the new virus.

Writing on his blog, he said the thought of people attacking hospitals and clinics was painful.