Post-holiday wait, weight warnings

Local | Amy Nip and Jane Cheung 8 Feb 2019

The Hospital Authority warns of a potential influx of patients visiting accident and emergency departments after the Lunar New Year break.

The wait times at major hospitals today and tomorrow - including Queen Elizabeth, Prince of Wales and Tuen Mun - could be five hours or more, said Li Kai-ming, chairman of the coordinating committee for A&E.

Li urged patients with minor conditions to go to general outpatient or private clinics in order to reduce the strain on A&E departments.

People are advised to use the authority's phone application or website to check the queuing times at A&E departments before heading there.

Yesterday, the wait time was more than eight hours at Tseung Kwan O and Prince of Wales hospitals and more than four hours at Princess Margaret and United Christian hospitals.

According to the latest statistics, 5,696 people went to A&E departments on Wednesday - 1,487 more than on Tuesday.

Among them, 935 were admitted to inpatient wards, where the occupancy rate was 95 percent. The wards at four public hospitals were running beyond capacity, with United Christian's occupancy rate being the highest at 112 percent. The other three hospitals were Queen Elizabeth, Tuen Mun and Caritas Medical Centre.

Between January 29 and February 4, the average attendance at A&E departments was 5,286, a decrease from 6,271 between January 8 and 14.

A physiotherapist, meanwhile, warned of weight gain during the holiday.

Senior physiotherapist Leung Ka-lun at Kowloon Hospital said people need to exercise at least five days a week, with workouts lasting 30 to 60 minutes a day for weight management.

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