Click here for an update on this story and Hong Kong Adventist Hospital’s explanation of the decision to urge the patient to find care at a nearby public hospital after providing basic wound cleaning and monitoring.
23 June 2019 | Hong Kong’s Department of Health has requested an explanation from an Adventist hospital in the territory after it was accused of having refused treatment to a political protestor.
According to the South China Morning Post, a patient presented to Hong Kong Adventist Hospital in Tsuen Wan at 10.30 pm on June 12. The hospital said that the patient had a “suspicious wound.”
On that day, thousands had protested a controversial bill that, if successful, would allow people in Hong Kong to be extradited to China.
Hospital workers reported the injured protestor to police, and he was later arrested at another hospital. This appears to have been a staff response to a police request made earlier that day at the hospital to report suspicious injuries related to the protests.
Alex Lan, the hospital president, said that there were notices in the hospital lobby stating that the hospital might have to report information to relevant authorities depending on the circumstances. The notices asked patients to consider whether they wanted to seek treatment at the hospital.
The Adventist facility has been called “unethical” by protestors and a patients’ rights group that said patient privacy rights were violated in the handling of the patient.
Hong Kong’s health minister, Sophia Chan Siu-chee, said the Department of Health had asked the Adventist facility about what took place.
“Hong Kong is organized by the rule of law,” Chan said. “But in hospitals, anyone who seeks medical care should be given appropriate medical services immediately.”
She added, “There must be a balance between the rule of law and patients’ privacy.”
According to the denomination’s Office of Archives and Statistics, there were 19 churches and an Adventist membership of 4,613 in the Hong Kong-Macau Conference as of June 30, 2018.