Hospital safety committee set

June 7, 2023

The Hospital Authority said it will set up a safety committee in each public hospital to strengthen supervision of safety issues.


At a press briefing this afternoon, Hospital Authority Chief Executive Dr Tony Ko unveiled the report of the authority's Review Committee on Medical Equipment & Facility Maintenance.


The committee put forward 23 recommendations after analysing the causes of various incidents and consulting hospital staff and industry professionals. 


The recommendations include hiring more biomedical engineering staff to supervise the equipment maintenance on site, establishing procedures to provide checking and supervising to the maintenance service by contractors, and arranging for the authority's in-house staff to take up building safety responsibilities.


The authority said it will proactively follow up on relevant recommendations, implement the concerned measures as soon as possible according to hospital operations and needs as well as introduce advance technology to assist in inspection and assessment so as to enhance the safety of patients and staff.


Dr Ko noted: “For medical equipment maintenance, we ask the original service provider, the vendors, to provide the maintenance work for us.


“Taking for example, the incident at United Christian Hospital where an operating theatre lamp fell from the ceiling, both our independent expert and also the vendor themselves had similar findings that, on the whole, the maintenance work that has been performed has not been able to meet the standard required by the company themselves.


“So as a result of those findings, of course, we will follow up on that. In that case, we will, according to the terms of the contract, through legal means follow up on the relevant responsibilities that the company has to be held accountable for.”


He also pointed out that if the service provider in other incidents is found not to have performed up to standard, the authority will proceed with the legal procedures according to the terms and conditions under the contract to look into relevant liabilities. 


Regarding hospital building safety, Dr Ko said the head of each public hospital will be required to chair a safety committee.


“In each hospital we will ask the hospital’s Chief Executive to chair a hospital safety committee so that they can look into the various safety issues within hospitals locally, as obviously, the colleagues work there every day, they know which areas need the most attention and which areas need improvement.


“Correspondingly, we have a similar committee in the head office, so if we find out that there are similar problems in different hospitals that may need a centrally co-ordinated initiative, we can do that together - both at the head office and the local level.


“These committees will be formed within a reasonable period of time, as soon as possible.”

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