Sunday 21 August 2011

One Day Two Apologies

These things just don't happen in Hong Kong. Apologies? Two?

First , the Hong Kong Hospital Authority says sorry (to blood victim).

Then, the University of Hong Kong's vice-chancellor says sorry too (on the treatment of protesters).

Hmmm, if One Country Two Systems does not work, then is it reasonable to say two apologies probably won't work either!?


Hospital authority says sorry to blood victim (SCMP; paywall)
Regulator's chief executive apologises to patient who got a brain haemorrhage after a wrong transfusion
Martin Wong
Aug 20, 2011

The chief executive of the Hospital Authority has apologised to a woman who suffered a brain haemorrhage after receiving the wrong type of blood in a transfusion.

A day after the incident at the Caritas Medical Centre in Sham Shui Po came to light, Dr Leung Pak-yin admitted there had been a serious mistake. "We are deeply sorry to the victim and her family," Leung said.

The 64-year-old woman developed a brain haemorrhage after being given blood type A, instead of type B. She was being treated at Kwong Wah Hospital in Yau Ma Tei, where she was said to be in a serious condition last night.

Initial investigations found that laboratory staff at Caritas had swapped the woman's blood test results with those of another patient. The other patient did not require a transfusion and had already been discharged from hospital.

A panel of medical experts will investigate the incident and is expected to issue a report within eight weeks.

The woman was admitted to the Caritas centre on August 9 suffering from scoliosis - a curved spine, with a narrowing of the spinal column, a condition known as spinal stenosis

Dr Derrick Au Kit-sing, the authority's head of human resources, said yesterday that the blunder was a one-off.

"As far as we know, the mistake this time occurred in the laboratory but not during the blood sampling, blood grouping and blood transfusion, so there was not a fault in the bar-code system," he said.

Since 2008, public hospitals have used a bar-code system for labelling blood samples in an effort to prevent specimen mix-ups at hospitals.

Under the system, staff who want to print a label for a blood sample must first scan a bar code on a patient's wristband, then another bar code on a document containing the patient's particulars.

Only if both barcodes match will the label be printed.

Noting that such incidents were extremely rare, a spokeswoman for the authority said that the only previous case on record occurred in September 2004.

HKU chief apologises on treatment of protesters (SCMP; paywall)
In fallout from vice-premier's visit to the campus, Professor Tsui Lap-chee faces calls to step down
Martin Wong and Crystal Chui
Aug 20, 2011

The University of Hong Kong vice-chancellor said sorry yesterday over the treatment of protesters at the campus during a visit by Vice-Premier Li Keqiang on Thursday when three were pulled to the ground by police and one was locked up for an hour.

Professor Tsui Lap-chee's apology came as he faced a hastily arranged and noisy meeting with students amid calls for him to step down. "If the school board feels that I have committed any wrongdoing, I will step down to shoulder responsibility," Tsui (pictured) said.

A row has also broken out over how Li was invited to the university. Some reports suggested the visit was initiated by Li, but last night the university issued a statement saying it had invited him.

"Tsui Lap-chee clarifies that Vice-Premier Li Keqiang was invited by HKU. HKU is based in HK and keeps close contact with the mainland. Inviting [state] leaders to come can facilitate mutual understanding and communication."

Chief Secretary Henry Tang Ying-yen, meanwhile, described as rubbish claims by journalists and politicians that freedom of expression was suppressed during Li's three-day trip to Hong Kong.

On Thursday, students and alumni were hemmed in by police 200 metres from the university's 100th birthday celebration, which Li attended, with three being pulled to the ground and one dragged off and locked up for an hour.

At yesterday's meeting, Tsui had an emotional exchange with the student who was locked up, Samuel Li Shing-hong. "You don't seem to care about your students. I demand your apology," Li said.

Without waiting for an answer, he stormed out as Tsui immediately said: "I now offer my apology."

Responding to student accusations that he acted like a coward, Tsui said: "I do not think I acted like a coward ... neither did I hear anyone say I am a coward."

The Hong Kong Journalists Association accused the police of hampering media coverage and freedom of expression, saying journalists had to endure stringent checks on their baggage and were kept far away from the state leader during his visit.

Tang rejected the criticism, saying: "I think that it is completely rubbish [to suggest] that we have violated the civil rights law or we have violated freedom of speech."

He said the administration had a responsibility to ensure the visits by prominent politicians proceeded smoothly and safely and he had confidence in the professionalism of police. "We completely respect freedom of the press in reporting."

But association vice-chairwoman Zoe Chan Suet-yee said journalists were restricted to places at least 50 to 100 metres away from Li.

"When he attended functions held at the Convention and Exhibition Centre, even after security checks, journalists could only cover the events by sitting in a room watching a live feed on a television set."

The association will march from the new government headquarters in Admiralty to police headquarters in Wan Chai today to protest against what it terms police abuse of power over media coverage.

Last night the police responded to comments by Tsui in which he suggested the force was reviewing security arrangements as a result of the students' concerns. A spokesman said it was normal practice for a review to be carried out after public order events, adding that the force respected freedom of speech but had to balance that with the need to ensure the safety of the state leader.

A special security panel meeting will be held in the Legislative Council next Friday to discuss the issue. Panel chairman James To Kun-sun said: "The arrangements by police over the past few days have touched on the core values of Hong Kong people. They acted like mainland police."

Secretary for Security Ambrose Lee Siu-kwong defended the arrangements. "We respect press freedom but we also need to strike a balance between it and the security of a visiting VIP," he said.


  1. So did he resign, or just endure a few days of bad press?

    Of course they're not going to let ordinary people (or students or journalists or protesters) anywhere near the guy, gotta keep up that harmonious facade!

  2. Apparently, he is still enduring some days of bad press. The students are also calling for the resignation of the police chief for his poor handling of the security measures and restricting freedom of the press. Stay tuned!

  3. Good to hear that the place hasn't been "harmonised" completely yet.

    Does the police chief (or the uni guy) care what some feral students think? After all, sucking up to the Real Important People is much more important.