Hospital service cuts 'inevitable' if Covid spikes - RTHK
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Hospital service cuts 'inevitable' if Covid spikes

2022-11-19 HKT 11:37
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  • Hospital service cuts 'inevitable' if Covid spikes
Hospital Authority Chief Executive Tony Ko cautioned that some services will inevitably have to be cut if the number of Covid cases remains high.

He made the comments on Saturday after Hong Kong reported more than 8,000 new infections on both Thursday and Friday, while public hospitals have said they are admitting more than 360 new Covid patients daily.

Speaking to reporters after a radio programme, Ko said it is worrying that infections are spiking more quickly now than during the most recent uptick two months ago.

"If the number remains high, or even further increases, inevitably we will have to reduce part of our elective service, for example, elective surgeries or elective diagnostics, to allow us to have adequate manpower to deal with the recent surge," he said.

He also said the authority was working with the private sector to deal with a higher number of Covid cases.

"We have been sending patients to private hospitals to continue their care, and at the same time, for some of the elderly holding centres and telemedicine services, we have engaged private practitioners and organisations to help us to provide services," Ko said.

Jenny Lee, a geriatric medicine specialist who's a service chief at Alice Ho Miu Ling Nethersole Hospital and Tai Po Hospital, noted an increase in the admission of elderly patients with long Covid symptoms.

She said they could not regain their appetite and had been experiencing mobility problems after recovering from the virus.

Lee also urged infected elderly patients to complete a full course of antiviral treatment to reduce the risk of getting more ill.