On Friday 4 September more demonstrations in various districts of Hong Kong occurred. A 14-year-old boy from Yuen Long was shot with a live bullet in the left thigh and was rushed to Tuen Mun Hospital.
In the early hours of the (5th), a group of riot police officers entered the Tuen Mun Hospital with guns.
Ou Yaojia, is a qualified doctor who has been working freelance in the Third World and Battlefield Hospitals for 18 years. He has traveled to the Middle East, South Sudan, Haiti, and Gaza Yemen.
Dr. Yaojia said in all his years, he has never seen armed personnel enter humanitarian relief or medical institutions. He said that both the military and the conflict parties in these areas abide by the humanitarian rescue requirements and always disarm first.
Medical staff were horrified and shocked when Hong Kong police entered the Tuen Mun Hospital with live ammunition. They rebuked the armed forces for their undisciplined and uncontrolled behaviors.
Dr. Yaojia pointed out that humanitarian relief organizations, including MSF and the International Committee of the Red Cross, require armed personnel to disarm when in the field of medical institutions.
Dr.Yaojia said that in his 18 years of experience in the field hospitals, even the military and the armed elements of both sides of the conflict respect the requirements and disarm before entering the medical institutions. They would let other divisions take care of the weapons outside the hospital.
“It is “basic common sense” to disarm within a medical institution, Dr. Yaojia said.
Dr. Yaojia explained that if the patient on either side conflict gets treated by the humanitarian aid agency, it is very likely that a party will cause conflict in the hospital. “If someone takes a gun, a gun battle may occur” and endanger the safety of patients and medical personnel,” he said.
Dr.Yaojia continued to say that Tuen Mun Hospital is one of the busiest hospitals in Hong Kong. Medical staff have their hands full with patients requiring treatment for gunshot wounds and other injuries.
One of his doctors on duty in Tuen Mun Hospital saw policemen in full armor with guns in the building. Dr.Yaojia described the police as being a “horror” in the hospital and was shocked by the “terror.”
“In the third world, there are no incidents in armed conflicts. They respect humanitarian medical institutions and cannot imagine police officers entering hospitals with guns.” Dr. Yaojia said.
He said that disarming in medical institutions is “basic common sense” and criticized the police for being ignorant or stupid.
If the police officers are afraid of putting down the firearms, Dr.Yaojia remarked that he would question the police officer’s emotional stability.
In the absence of the above two conditions, the Dr. is worried that the incident represents the police force acting an increasingly intemperate manner in demonstrating their armed strength.
Dr. Yaojie urged the Director of Health, Chen Yushi, and the senior management of the Hospital Authority to take measures to ensure the safety of patients and medical personnel.
Members of the Hospital Authority said that they were concerned that riot police will bring equipment into Tuen Mun Hospital again.
Police said police officers were deployed at various locations in the district in response to the situation based on risk assessment. They reiterated that the investigation of any case or any action in the hospital will not affect the operation of the hospital and patient services.