Flu Epidemic Triggered Influx of Patients at Hong Kong Public Hospitals

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The outbreak of influenza, which has already claimed eight lives, has led to overcrowding of Hong Kong public hospitals. Patients who do not require emergency care have reported waiting times of up to eight hours. Health officials warn of virus activity increasing in coming weeks.

According to the survey results, more than a third of patients are not satisfied with the long waiting times at public hospitals, and more than a half are not satisfied with the fact that the waiting time in emergency departments is at least two hours.

The overall occupancy rate at public hospitals increased to 109% (extra beds are temporarily being placed in the corridors and wards). The average waiting time at most of the health care facilities is still around eight hours.