A 41-year-old woman was arrested for assaulting a nurse after her son was kept waiting for minutes at the accident and emergency ward of a public hospital in Mong Kok.
The incident happened at the A&E department of Kwong Wah Hospital, where the woman took her 10-year-old child for medical consultation at around 2:30 a.m. on Tuesday, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.
The boy had a sore throat, a symptom of influenza.
After waiting for more than 10 minutes, the woman asked the nurse to allow them to see a doctor as soon as possible, only to be told that they had to wait a little longer.
As the minutes passed, the woman became increasingly restless and approached the nurse again to make the same request.
The nurse told her that her son had been triaged and his case was considered semi-urgent (fourth category). As such, they had to wait longer than other patients who came in earlier or whose condition was deemed more urgent.
Sources said that after hearing the explanation, the mother flew into a rage and pushed the nurse, who fell to the floor.
Police stationed at the hospital rushed to the scene and arrested the woman. The nurse was treated for minor hand injuries.
In a statement, the Hospital Authority said that it was highly concerned about the incident and condemned any form of violence.
It appealed to the public for cooperation and understanding, especially during the current flu season when A&E wards of public hospitals are struggling to cope with staff shortage and a surge in the influx of patients.
It is not considered unusual for a semi-urgent case to wait for hours before being attended to by a doctor at the A&E department of a public hospital, especially when there are many patients seeking treatment.
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