Healthcare workers vote to strike in Hong Kong, China, Feb. 3-7. Should the strike proceed, disruptions to public healthcare service likely.

This alert affects Hong Kong SAR

This alert began 02 Feb 2020 10:00 GMT and is scheduled to expire 07 Feb 2020 17:59 GMT.

  • Event: Health workers' strike
  • Location(s): Hong Kong (map)
  • Date: Feb. 3-7
  • Impact: Health service provision disruptions

Summary
Members of the newly formed Hospital Authority Employees Alliance voted Feb. 1 in favor of a strike in Hong Kong from Feb. 3. The alliance represents thousands of public doctors, nurses, and hospital employees, and has several demands, including that the Hong Kong authorities close the shared border with mainland China to prevent the spread of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV). The proposed strike will start Feb. 3. The initial phase would involve nonessential staff, with the rest of the body joining the strike Feb. 4-7. Authorities plan to meet with the alliance Feb. 2 in a bid to avert the strike.

Should the strike action proceed, some disruptions at public medical facilities in Hong Kong are likely. Hospital authorities will likely reposition nonstriking staff to facilities experiencing shortages. Emergency medical services will likely continue to be provided. Private health clinics will probably remain open during the action, though increased demand for care at private facilities could lead to some service disruptions.

Advice
Confirm all medical appointments, including the availability of services at private clinics, due to the potential increased demand. If possible, contact healthcare facilities in advance for information about wait times, which could vary among hospitals and clinics.