Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Hong Kong Hospital Workers Strike

Members of the Hospital Authority Employees Alliance sign up people to the strike near Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Yau Ma Tei, HK. Note their political slogan Save HK Now. Photo: Winson Wong

The 2019-nCoV outbreak must have made many Hong Kongers scared shitless – that they promptly ceased their mass protesting and rioting. 

And yet, the Wuhan virus also serves as an excuse for some Hong Kongers to continue to challenge Carrie Lam’s government. 

The 18,000-strong Hospital Authority Employees Alliance launched their first phase of a strike on Monday to force the government to agree to their demand for a total border shutdown. It, of course, showed very blatantly their anti-China and anti-Chinese stance. 

They said about 2,700 staff had skipped work, including around 300 doctors and 900 nurses. 

According to South China Morning Post, this is a newly formed union, emerging in December during the massive anti-government protests – and by the sounds of it, they are a pressure group designed to thwart the authorities and promote their own naive self and prejudiced political interests. 

The group vowed to push ahead with the second phase of the strike today, this time predicting that as many as 9,000 – including doctors, nurses and other hospital workers – would join the industrial action. 

Alas, it’s no longer about serving the community. And obviously, they choose to forget that their first duty is to care for their patient(s), that they provide an essential public service. 

If we take a virtue ethics approach, we would be compelled to ask whether going on strike is an action that a virtuous physician/surgeon/nurse/health-care worker would take. 

Thomas L Beauchamp and James F Childress who are best known for their work in medical ethics had propagated the principles of beneficence, non-maleficence (“first, do no harm”), respect for autonomy, and justice. Meaning, to abide by these standards, a virtuous provider would strike only for the purpose of benefiting the patient. 

In the Hong Kong situation, this is clearly not the case! 

In any case, the Hospital Authority Employees Alliance had anticipated some essential services to be disrupted, which could entail shutting down some of the wards at major hospitals – but they don’t care. 

How is it possible for a society to allow those who care for the sick to abandon their oaths and their duties? Regretably, Hong Kong has gone to the dogs! 

Yesterday, I was at the 3rd Mile Square, Old Klang Road, KL – where I attended the Money & You Toastmasters meeting. I had accepted an invitation from two old friends, Chong How Yee and Amy Llim:

I was tasked to provide feedback to Chong – I must admit she oozed with zesty confidence  who had attempted an Advanced speech and I was recognized as Best Evaluator:

Overall, the meeting was high-spirited and energetic:

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