Medical staff at borders 'ill-informed and confused' - RTHK
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Medical staff at borders 'ill-informed and confused'

2020-03-24 HKT 15:29
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  • Joyce Lee from the Government Doctors’ Association (seen right) says some medical staff were given little advance notice and little information about their new duties. Photo: RTHK
    Joyce Lee from the Government Doctors’ Association (seen right) says some medical staff were given little advance notice and little information about their new duties. Photo: RTHK
The head of the Government Doctors’ Association warned on Tuesday that some medical workers sent to border checkpoints amid the coronavirus outbreak lack experience in dealing with infectious diseases and have received little information about their new, unfamiliar roles.

Speaking on an RTHK programme, the association's chairwoman Joyce Lee said this was the case for a 54-year-old doctor who has come down with the virus after signing quarantine orders for people arriving at the airport.

Lee, who works at the infection control branch under the Department of Health, said the doctor in question had worked 12-hour shifts for six days in a row before she fell sick.

Before being sent to the airport, the doctor had been working at the department' student health services and did not have to handle patients with infectious diseases, Lee said.

She told RTHK that some medical staff were left confused after being given little advance notice of their new duties at unfamiliar locations, and they were not well-informed about their new roles.

Lee added that she had received complaints about an assistant director of health telling staff working at the Shenzhen Bay and Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge border points that they should not use face shields as this could scare people.

She said there were other problems concerning protective clothing, for example, no designated locations for workers to take off their gear.

Lee also dismissed Chief Executive Carrie Lam's words of appreciation for doctors and nurses that came in an emotional media address on Monday.

“The burden placed on medical workers is beyond words. Shedding a few drops of tears is not enough,” Lee said.