22 May 2019
The man fell just 30 meters from North Lantau Hospital. Photo:
The man fell just 30 meters from North Lantau Hospital. Photo:

Man collapses near hospital, dies after delay in admission

A man collapsed on the pavement 30 meters away from North Lantau Hospital, but paramedics took 20 minutes to take him to the hospital and admit him, Singtao Daily reported Monday.

The 62-year-old man, surnamed Leung, died early Sunday.

A patients’ rights group called the incident “unacceptable”, but Secretary for Food and Health Ko Wing-man said the hospital staff had done their best.

A spokesman for the hospital, which is in Tung Chung, said a security guard received a passerby’s report at 4.46 p.m. Saturday and rushed to check on the stricken man.

The guard informed the hospital’s accident and emergency department and the Fire Service Department’s control center.

Paramedics ran to help the man, the spokesman said, but Leung was not admitted to the hospital until 20 minutes had passed.

He was later transferred to Princess Margaret Hospital in Lai Chi Kok in critical condition.

Leung was pronounced dead at 2.12 a.m. Sunday.

The newspaper quoted unnamed sources as saying they suspected Leung’s location had been incorrectly reported, causing a delay in the paramedics’ arrival.

Ko told reporters the medical staff took a few minutes to gather some necessary equipment for first aid and resuscitation.

He said healthcare workers in an ambulance that happened to pass by had given Leung appropriate resuscitation before paramedics arrived and escorted the patient to the hospital for further treatment.

Offering its condolences to Leung’s family Sunday, North Lantau Hospital said a chronological report, including how long it took medical staff to gather first aid equipment, will be delivered to the Hospital Authority within two weeks.

The case will then be handed over to the coroner.

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