By Poyi (Natalie) Leung
The Public Administration and Civil Service Bureau (SAFP) is currently studying the formulation of a standard 24-hour on-call system for various public departments including the public hospital.
President of the Third Standing Committee of the Legislative Assembly Cheang Chi Keong said the system will underline under what conditions can a round-the-clock on-call work system be introduced in a department, what kind of compensation – overtime payment, holidays or both – that the personnel should be entitled to, as well as the rights and obligations.
He said this system has already been in exercise in a lot of public departments and the Third Standing Committee deemed that it is necessary to enhance and revise it at this moment.
At present, any public personnel who need to be called to work at anytime during the day enjoy compensation as the same amount as overtime compensation.
This work system was brought to the table yesterday when the Third Standing Committee was deliberating the draft bill concerning a new career system for 628 healthcare assistants at Conde de São Januário Hospital.
Cheang Chi Keong said lawmakers believed healthcare assistants need to be on-call 24 hours in order to provide timely help to nurses, but the work system has to be updated especially regarding compensation.
Meanwhile, the standing committee discussed another draft bill for the medical administrative personnel career system, which only involves four staff members.
Cheang said lawmakers did not express much divergent opinion and mainly hoped that the provision clarifying the job duties of the medical administrative personnel can be written more precisely.
He also urged related public departments and healthcare organisations to write their opinion and suggestions to the legislature.
The Government last week introduced six separate draft bills at the legislature in relation to the career systems for doctors, medical administrative personnel, clinic technicians, senior health technicians, health inspectors and healthcare assistants.
The Third Standing Committee will move on to discuss the ones concerning health inspectors and doctors today.
The changes proposed by the Government will affect a total of 1,314 public professionals and technicians.