Hong Kong’s overtime work culture is a ticking time bomb

Posted by Ed 10 mths ago
Manpower crunch in sectors, a culture of sucking up to superiors for rewards and exploitation of flexible workforce among drivers.

Sixteen years into his career, the early memories of a horrible experience in which he worked for 60 hours on end are still fresh in the mind of Hong Kong doctor James Fung Tak-kwan.

Fung, 40, a general surgeon at Pok Oi Hospital in Yuen Long, says he was once put on two consecutive overnight on-call duties when interning at a local hospital, with each lasting more than 30 hours. He saw more than 100 patients in this span, and was eventually overwhelmed by fatigue.

“I couldn’t function well, and basically I could only copy what other doctors did,” he says. “Looking back, it was dangerous. It was not a humane working condition.”

After working for more than 60 hours straight, Fung took a three-hour nap before getting up to study for his exams, as competition among medical students was fierce.


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