Scheme halted after staff moans

Local | Jane Cheung 22 Jul 2019

An accreditation program has been suspended after frontline staff complained there was too much paperwork and insufficient manpower, Leung Pak-yin said.

"As a member of the management, it's essential to listen and respond to colleagues' demands," he said.

Launched in 2009, the Hospital Accreditation program is aimed at standardizing equipment and procedures at public hospitals, an internationally recognized measure to sustain and improve health-care services.

However, the program was repackaged last year as the authority wished to change the accredited unit from hospitals to clusters.

But it was soon halted after the authority received criticism and complaints from frontline staff, who said the accreditation program comes with too much paperwork that adds to the workload from already overburdened patient services.

"I received comments from frontline workers asking us to simplify documents or hire additional administration workers to handle such duties," he said. "Accreditation is a good thing, but it's not the appropriate time to do it."

Leung said the manpower shortage, low employee morale and long working hours have yet to be fully solved, but it has improved.

He said since 2015, the authority has seen an increase in the number of doctors and nurses every year.

"In the past, the number of doctors who quit was more than we managed to recruit. But it's no longer the case now," he said. "Now, we lose around 1,300 nurses every year, but we'll hire 2,200 to 2,300. There's a net increase."

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