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At times of crisis, expert opinion is crucial to formulate policy and direction. The Covid-19 pandemic has demonstrated the life-saving importance of medical leadership at national as well as operational levels. Innovation and rapid re-organisation have enabled healthcare systems to cope with the unprecedented demands placed on services in both primary and secondary care settings. While there have been genuine issues picked up in the media, this should not detract from the enormous value gained from medical engagement and the real and present opportunity to capture and change the way we lead healthcare over the coming months.
Hong Kong was hit hard by SARS in 2003. Since then, the government has strengthened its preparedness greatly.[1] The public has also developed heightened awareness of viral infections, wearing masks with influenza-like illnesses, practising hand hygiene in hospitals, and reducing the potential of cross infection while using chopsticks. The preparedness and responsiveness were well tested in 2009 during the H1N1 pandemic.
I’ll be the first to admit – I did not see this coming. I heard the news from China, and watched but didn’t make the connection. “It won’t happen here…” I watched as loose plans were made. A ‘pod’ made at the entrance to ED. I screened and swabbed people but with little actual concern. “It’s the ‘flu, and we deal with that all the time.” I heard myself saying, although admittedly while knowing very little.

Faculty of Medical Leadership and Management Archive

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