Hong Kong’s Hospital Authority said it would set up a task force to look into injured protesters being arrested in hospitals after the June 12 clashes outside the Legislative Council building in Admiralty.
One injured protester who went to the Hong Kong Adventist Hospital, a private institution in Tsuen Wan in the New Territories, was refused entry, according to local media reports.
Medical staff told the patient, who was injured by a tear gas canister, to go to Yan Chai Hospital in the same district. He was later arrested by police in Yan Chai Hospital.
The Hong Kong Adventist Hospital confirmed that police officer went to their hospital at 6pm following the clashes and requested the hospital staff to inform them if they suspected any person being injured during the Admiralty clashes, Ming Pao Daily reported.
The Adventist Hospital said a patient went to their facility at 10:30pm and their staff informed the police later. A notice posted in the Adventist Hospital says the facility is not equipped to care and support certain patients, including patients with injuries due to criminal activities.
Other two protesters were arrested in Queen Elizabeth Hospital and Kwong Wah Hospital in Kowloon while they were waiting for treatment.
A protester named Ah Yuen said his head was injured by a tear gas canister outside Citic Tower in Admiralty on June 12. He went to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital for treatment, news website HK01.com reported.
Ah Yuen said while he was waiting to be seen by medial staff, a nurse asked the police officer stationed at the hospital how to write “tear gas” in Chinese. The man was arrested in the hospital two hours later for allegedly rioting and was released a day later.
Ah Yuen suspected he was targeted because of the nurse’s question. He criticized the unprofessional handling of the situation by medical staff at the hospital and added that he was worried that other injured protesters were afraid to go to hospitals for treatment.
Meanwhile Leung Pak-yin, the chief executive of the Hospital Authority, quoted sources from the hospital’s A&E Department as saying that some police officers made arrests inside the hospital.
The hospital chief said he noted the concerns raised among medical personnel on how should they react when police officers approach them about patients. He said he had discussed it with Police Commissioner Stephen Lo Wai-chung in a phone call and will follow up the issue.
Leung said it’s always the first priority for medical personnel to provide treatment to patients.
He also apologized to the public over concerns about patients’ privacy and the security of their personal information.
Earlier in the week, medical sector lawmaker Pierre Chan had alleged that police officers were able to access patient databases in accident and emergency departments to help them locate and arrest people hurt in the extradition bill protests. The Hospital Authority denied the accusation.
Leung also urged people not to besiege public hospitals as there was a call for citizens to surround the hospital premises. People went on social media to say they were angry and alleged medical staff had sent protesters’ information sent to the police, leading to arrests.