Date
29 May 2017
Tuen Mun Hospital has 11 operatng rooms, according to the Hospital Authoritiy. Sources say the real problem is an acute lack of personnel. Photo: Google Maps
Tuen Mun Hospital has 11 operatng rooms, according to the Hospital Authoritiy. Sources say the real problem is an acute lack of personnel. Photo: Google Maps

Worker impaled by iron shard waited 36 hours for surgery

A 58-year-old renovation worker impaled by an iron shard and refused surgery because his case was not urgent is bringing unwanted attention to a lawmaker who has been accused of jumping a hospital queue to have a polyp removed.

The laborer, surnamed Ng, did not get the procedure until after 36 hours when Pok Oi Hospital moved him to Tuen Mun Hospital for tetanus shots, Apple Daily reports.

Ng suffered massive bleeding after he was pierced by debris when a concrete slab crashed on him in Fairview Park in Yuen Long on Friday.

He was given emergency treatment in Pok Oi before being taken by ambulance to Tuen Mun Hospital where he was told to wait after his condition was classified as “less urgent”.

By contrast, pro-establishment lawmaker Tam Yiu-chung took all of 10 minutes to have a polyp removed from an ear after he jumped the queue in Queen Elizabeth Hospital, according to reports.

An anonymous Facebook post by a hospital employee said that Tam, 66, was fast-tracked and his wife was allowed into the surgical room through a staff entrance.

Both Tam and Queen Elizabeth Hospital apologized for the incident. Hospital administrators said they have created a panel to investigate the matter.

Ng had a sharp edge of the iron bar sticking out of his left upper arm while being told by doctors that only two operating rooms were available on weekends.

He had waited 27 hours before he complained to Apple Daily, saying he feared the injury could cost him his job and leave him permanently disabled.

The next day, the hospital arranged for surgery. It took doctors two hours to remove the object and stitch up the skin.

The Hospital Authority (HA) said Tuen Mun has 11 operating rooms but sources said the real problem is an acute shortage of medical personnel.

An HA spokesman said Ng could not receive immediate surgery because several other patients who needed more urgent operation were taking longer.

He said Ng’s case was “relatively less urgent”.

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TL/AC/RA

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