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Drill Tests Designated-Clinic Arrangements

by 5m Editor
12 January 2009, at 5:50am

HONG KONG - More than 200 people from six organisations have participated in an exercise to test the arrangements for setting up designated clinics in the event of an outbreak of human cases of avian influenza.

The drill saw a mock scenario in which an Agricultural, Fisheries & Conservation Department staff member who had taken part in a city-wide poultry-culling operation, and a boy who had had close contact with a dead bird in a park on Hong Kong Island, developed flu-like symptoms.

They were admitted to hospitals and later confirmed to have been infected with H5N1 bird flu.

As part of the drill, the Hospital Authority activated four designated clinics on Hong Kong Island to share the clinical workload and triage 'patients' with flu-like symptoms.

Two 'patients' with severe symptoms were transferred to Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern Hospital while those with mild symptoms received medical treatment in the designated clinic.

In response to the designated clinic's 'activation', the Elderly Health Centre, Chest Clinic and the Hong Kong AIDS Foundation located in the same building adopted necessary arrangements.

Contingency plan essential

Observing the exercise, Secretary for Food & Health Dr York Chow stressed the importance of putting in place the contingency plan to activate designated clinics during major infectious-disease outbreaks, especially those involving many patients who had to be assessed and triaged at primary-care level to reduce hospitals' workload.

"There should be well planned procedures for the activation and running of designated clinics which include strict infection-control measures, an efficient triage system, and effective communication and collaboration among different units," he said.

Further Reading

- You can visit the Avian Flu page by clicking here.