Hong Kong hospitals find themselves on protest frontlines | Malay Mail
HONG KONG, Nov 22 — Hong Kong’s public hospitals, long known for professionalism, have become a new front in the anti-government protests that have engulfed the city for more than five months. An incident in which riot police armed with shields and batons interrogated a pregnant woman at her...
HONG KONG, Nov 22 — Hong Kong’s public hospitals, long known for professionalism, have become a new front in the anti-government protests that have engulfed the city for more than five months.
Police rarely entered areas like labour or emergency wards before the protests escalated in June, according to Arisina Ma, president of the Hong Kong Public Doctors’ Association (HKPDA), which represents public hospital staff, and six other doctors and nurses who requested anonymity.
“Armed riot police are coming to public hospitals with full gear, which is scary,” said one nurse who gave his name only as Cheng. “The reputation of the hospitals is being ruined not only by Hong Kong police but also the administrative managers of the Hospital Authority who try and suppress freedom of speech among health care professionals.”
The Hospital Authority declined to comment. The police have defended their actions, calling them necessary to combat protests that have become increasingly violent.
The protests were triggered by government plans to introduce a bill that would have allowed suspects to be extradited from Hong Kong to the mainland.
The city’s medical sector employs around 100,000 people. Hundreds of healthcare staff have worked as first-aid volunteers on the frontlines of demonstrations in their own time, tending to protesters injured during clashes with police.
The HKPDA said its website had been inundated with thousands of critical messages posted by “supporters of the People’s Republic of China” after the doctors’ group condemned the shooting of a protester by police.
“It’s a very critical time because our medical system has linkages with the police force,” said a 30-year-old protester seeking treatment in a clinic who identified himself only as Ben. “People are scared to go to hospital.”
“We feel scared,” said one 26-year-old nurse at a public hospital who gave his name as Stephen.Read more: Malay Mail
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