Kiang Wu Hospital Deputy Director Chan Tai Ip said Sunday that the privately-run facility has enough beds for patients in case of a local outbreak of the potentially fatal H7N9 virus.
Chan made the assurances at a sports event for Kiang Wu employees in the Macau Olympic Complex in Taipa. He said the hospital had set up H7N9 quarantine rooms on its eighth and ninth floors fitted with eight beds. In addition, the hospital is equipped with six beds in its intensive care unit (ICU) for H7N9 cases, according to Chan.
He added that the hospital has been working closely with the local government’s Centre for Disease Control and Prevention regarding the handling of a potential H7N9 outbreak, adding that Kiang Wu Hospital staff have been given clear instructions about what to do. He said that the hospital would notify the centre of any suspected H7N9 case.
Chan also told The Macau Post Daily there has been a 20 to 30 percent increase in the number of patients seeking treatment in Kiang Wu Hospital’s emergency section in the last two weeks, pointing out that the average number of patients is around 700 per day but that it has risen to nearly 1,000. He said about 40 to 50 percent of patients suffered from seasonal flu or enterovirus infections.
In response to a question about hiring hospital staff, Chan said that the hospital was always looking for qualified medical professionals as it continues to expand, adding that the hospital is looking to hire more doctors to reduce the amount of time people have to wait in the emergency department.
But he conceded that it is not easy to hire specialist doctors as it usually takes 10 years to complete specialist training. Chan said while different departments might need to hire one to three more specialists depending on their situations, Kiang Wu needs gynaecologists and gastroenterologists the most.
Meanwhile, the Health Bureau (SSM) released a statement , stating that it has been notified by the mainland authorities that Zhejiang province has two new cases of the H7N9 virus. The bureau said that it had not recorded any suspected cases between Saturday night and Sunday night.
The bureau said that more H7N9 cases were likely to appear in the mainland in the coming weeks, urging citizens not to go to live poultry markets there and avoid direct contact with unquarantined poultry products.
It added that citizens should wear a mask and immediately seek treatment if they have symptoms such as coughing, high temperature or breathing difficulties. (macaunews)