The Hospital Authority (Chinese: 醫院管理局) is a statutory body managing all the public hospitals and institutes in Hong Kong. It is managed by the Hospital Authority Board and is under the monitor of the Secretary for Food and Health of the Hong Kong Government. Its chairman is John Leong Chi-yan.
Before the establishment of the authority, all health and medical issues were under the management of the Medical and Health Department. In 1990, a new health administration system was introduced. The department became the Department of Health and in 1991, the management of all the public hospitals was passed to a new statutory body, the Hospital Authority, which was established in 1990 under the Hospital Authority Ordinance. In 2003, the General Outpatient Clinics of Department of Health were transferred to the Authority.
2008 milk contamination
On the day when a Hong Kong girl was diagnosed as the territory's first victim of the 2008 Chinese milk scandal, anxious parents were frustrated to discover that doctors at the special unit set up at the Princess Margaret Hospital were taking the day off. Deputy Director of Health Gloria Tam said that it was "not something so urgent that it needs to be dealt with in 24 hours... They can go during office hours tomorrow". Medical sector legislator Leung Ka-lau said the lack of daily cover during the crisis was "insensitive". While the first victim left hospital after successful treatment one day later, two more children were admitted to hospital on 22 September; the Hospital Authority was reportedly overwhelmed when over 100 parents demanding check-ups for their children at Princess Margaret amids confusion about referrals and registration procedures, causing Secretary for Food and Health, York Chow to grovel for having underestimated the problem. Chow pledged 18 additional facilities around Hong Kong would be operational the next day.
- Ng Kang-chung, "HK parents frustrated as doctors take day off", Page A5, South China Morning Post (22 September 2008)
- Nickkita Lau & Diana Lee, "Fall guys - Sorry", The Standard (23 September 2008)
- Colleen Lee & Dennis Chong, "Frustrated parents clamour or help as hospital battles to cope"], Page A3, South China Morning Post (23 September 2008)
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