The doctor will see you next week

HK Free Press reports a dazzling outburst of common sense from a public-sector employee. The public hospital doctor complains that the government is sending front-line medical staff on Mainland ‘national studies’ courses while hospitals are struggling to keep up with a seasonal flu outbreak. If true, it is an outrageous scandal/utterly unsurprising.

(These courses, typically a week long at a Mainland institute, are now routine for many Hong Kong middle-senior civil servants and other public-sector workers. By all accounts, they are condescending or preachy propaganda classes explaining the ‘correct’ versions of China’s development, the PRC constitution, foreign relations and other subjects. Mainland organizers tell participants not to divulge details.)

The doctor also calls for the government to take two steps to improve public hospital patient services. One is to directly hire doctors with (good-quality) overseas qualifications, rather than allow the local Medical Association to restrict the supply of skills through additional local professional exams. The other is to stop admitting so many Mainland immigrants, who are adding to the strain on the health system.

This newsworthy item confirms what many suspect – that there are, indeed, public servants with functioning brains. Obviously, this one is grossly unfit to progress to policymaking levels of government.

I wonder what the national affairs course will have to say about today’s big news – Uh-oh, we’re in trouble…

Something the lecturers probably don’t cover is the wondrous state of China’s housing market. Here is the Fascinating Statistic du Jour: in 1Q 2018, only 31% of households buying a residential property were buying their first unit; 44% were buying their second; and 25% were getting their third. (China’s housing market is magic: since private home ownership resumed in the 1980s, buyers have only seen property values rise, and this will continue for ever and ever.)

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13 Responses to The doctor will see you next week

  1. biglychee says:

    Reminder: owing to a deluge of spam*, comments under previously unused/non-approved names are being filtered out. First-time users feeling an urgent need to contribute can try emailing.

    *Sample: “…Финансовые активы могут понадобиться в долг внезапно. Сейчас почти не найти тех, кто не брал средств в долг. Из-за этого много людей сталкивались с мошенниками. Если вы не желаете попасть в ловушку, вам необходимо получать займы на надёжных ресурсах…” from a Russian loan shark.

  2. Casira says:

    That indictment is a must read, much face will be lost and I wouldn’t be surprised if Meng is dumped by the CCP like an old rag.

  3. reductio says:

    “The doctor will see you next week”… unless you’re a civil servant:

    https://www.csb.gov.hk/english/admin/benefits/64.html

    Scroll down to the section “Priority discs for serving civil servants”. If you’re just a member of the lumpenproletariat then tough tits, get in line and wait (which is 15 months if you have a non-emergency eye problem – trust me).

  4. Stephen says:

    Does appear that The Year of the Dog has turned into a bit of a Annus Horribilis for the Chairman of Everything for Life. Wonder is plotting is afoot?

  5. Joe Blow says:

    How would a Russian loan shark collect bad debts in Hong Kong ?

  6. Boredcaster says:

    @Joe Blow – He’d use a Finn (geddit!)

  7. old git says:

    Talking of lumps and tits, I can confirm that it is a 15 month wait in HK for a mammogram, even for men suffering from gynecomastia – that’s lumpy tits to those of us who are duffers.

  8. HillnotPeak says:

    It seems Tappy went to China, much like the booksellers.

  9. Real Fax Paper says:

    The rapid collapse of the HK public health system is ongoing and in plain sight, and largely ignored. With the system stretched to the limit and beyond, preventative medicine (which has never been a government focus anyway) has largely fallen by the wayside.

    Anecdotally, a nearest & dearest of mine sought treatment for what turned out to be a hyperactive thyroid at Tseung Kwan O Hospital in 2009 – an initial appointment was made for two or three weeks hence, and treatment began and completed shortly thereafter.

    In 2017, with symptoms returning, another appointment was sought – and the best they could offer was to see a doctor 18 months later. This is for a condition that isn’t initially that serious or uncommon, and treatment for which is straightforward, but if untreated over time can result in complications that are life-threatening – at which point it would be straight to A&E, where HK hospitals are still just about coping.

    Preventative medicine is now only available for those who can afford private care.

  10. Revolution says:

    A family member of mine had to have an MRI. We were told that there was a long waiting list at the public hospitals. We received an appointment 2 weeks ago for May. In 2020.

    I’ve had generally positive experiences with the public hospitals, which I’ve only tended to use in emergencies – the standard of care is better than a couple of NHS hospitals I’ve been in in London, for example – but it is clear to see when you go that the system is at full stretch.

  11. Old Newcomer says:

    @old git – coming soon, a 10-month wait for pregnant women to see a gynaecologist?

    @Joe Blow – probably through collusion with the same local triads to which they supply Russian ladies of the night.

  12. reductio says:

    @Real Fax Paper

    My take on why the public health system hasn’t already imploded is the inherent stoicism of the Chinese and that HK is more or less monocultural, but give it a few more shoves (flu epidemic…) and it will go.

  13. Stanley Lieber says:

    The brazen criminality described in the Huawei indictment is a hoot!

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