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Crime and hospitals in Hong Kong

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leem

Crime and hospitals in Hong Kong

Postby leem » Fri, 02 Sep 2005 11:26 am

I want to post a warning about crime and hospitals in Hong Kong. I have been to Hong Kong many times with no problems, but this time I
was hit hard on my head, robbed, and I stayed in a hospital in Hong Kong for one month in August. My bag, money belt, ID, passport, shorts,
phone cards, clothes, toothpaste, toothbrush, soap, socks, shampoo,
shirt, photos, coins, deodorant, bank book, US $400, ATM card, brush,
three notebooks, and wallet were all stolen. I was hit so hard that the
right side of my head was broken in six places and the doctors removed
part of my right side of my skull and a blood clot. They said my brain
was bruised, but not damaged. In about six months I need a have plastic
plate put in my head to protect my brain. I am lucky that I wasn’t
killed, paralyzed, or put in coma. I don’t remember what happened, but
only remember waking up in the hospital. I couldn’t speak after the
injury or remember words but now I am much better. I still drool a
little and am dizzy if I get I up too fast. I should get better, though.

Staying in the Hong Kong hospitals was terrible because I am healthy and I haven’t spent a lot of time in hospitals. I also don’t understand the Hong Kong system, either. They tied my arms and legs to the bed for some reason, injected me with liquid for weeks, didn’t give food or water for
six days, didn’t allow me to shower, wash my face, brush my teeth, exercise, told me go to the bathroom in my bed for three weeks, and didn’t allow me to make phone calls or use the Internet. I had communication problems with some workers because I don't speak Cantonese. The nurses and doctors told me I could leave in a few days or in a week, but they were usually wrong. Almost everyday for three weeks I was given oatmeal to eat three times a day although I hate it. I finally refused to eat it and they gave me better food like rice and chicken. The
hospital also didn’t seem very well supplied due a seeming shortage of
sleeping pills and painkillers. The hospital was public, very crowded,
and had many very old sick men who snored loudly and seemed near death. I saw things I never saw before and didn’t sleep well because of the noise and was often interrupted for blood pressure checks and exams. The doctors and nurses said I caught pneumonia and slept a lot the first week, but I don’t remember that. Buildings in Hong Kong use too much air conditioning, too. I was quite bored because they were only TV shows in Cantonese to watch that I couldn’t understand. After three weeks, I transferred to a rehabilitation hospital. I had no clothes, money,
identification, soap, passport, friends, or family in Hong Kong. Some
nice people from church groups visited me later and brought things I
needed like fruit and soap and my consulate brought me English
books, helped me find my passport, contacted my family in America, and told them how to send money to me.

I admit some of my big problems were my fault because I went to Hong Kong to get a new Chinese visa at a visa agency and didn’t pay first because I didn’t think I would lose my money, I also took my bank book to Hong Kong although it doesn’t work there, and I may not remember being attacked since I may have fallen asleep outside on a bench at night
because I didn’t want to pay for hotel. I also didn’t have a Hong Kong ID card since I am not a resident and didn’t have medical insurance
because I am healthy and never thought something like this would happen to me. I also thought Hong Kong was safe.

The doctors wanted me to stay longer in the hospital, but I felt better, wanted to return to go home, and couldn’t afford the hospital stay. The hospital said it cost HKD 3000 per day to stay and I was there for a month. If I was a Hong Kong resident, the fee is only HKD 100 per day. The hospital wanted their money, but since I don’t have it, they can’t get it. I don’t know how I can repay them. I also may need to pay for replacement plate surgery in six months.

I hope my misfortune will convince people to be aware about crime and bad hospitals in Hong Kong, be careful with their valuables and passports while traveling, and be sure to have medical travel insurance. I personally wouldn't recommend anyone visit Hong Kong. It was truly a nightmare.

Guest

Postby Guest » Sat, 03 Sep 2005 1:02 am

How are you going to pay the hospital what you owe to them?? Have you decided yet?

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Postby k1w1 » Sat, 03 Sep 2005 7:50 pm

Wow, that's a really bad story. I am glad to hear you are doing well. Sorry to hear that you have had such an awful experience.

I hope you don't find this offensive, but honestly, I think you should be marveling that a hospital did all this for you without knowing whether you could or would pay for the treatment. And a group of strangers went out of their way to assist you - again, a wonderful display of goodwill.

I had a friend who had a similar attack while travelling in a foreign country, and his parents were required to fly over and pay the bill. Thankfully, he too is okay now, but it was very much touch-and-go for a while.

Take care, and best wishes.

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Postby Plavt » Sun, 04 Sep 2005 1:21 am

:???: :???: :???: :???:
Last edited by Plavt on Sun, 04 Sep 2005 7:53 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Postby dot dot dot » Sun, 04 Sep 2005 1:30 am

6 days no food or water to drink? Parts of your skull removed? Robbed while sleeping on the street? Lucky you were not in a coma?

As far as I understand 4 days of not drinking anything will result in coma alone already...

Sorry mate, I think you had a nightmare after watching a very violent movie :?

Eric

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Postby Guest » Sun, 04 Sep 2005 10:22 pm

Eric from the Netherlands wrote:6 days no food or water to drink? Parts of your skull removed? Robbed while sleeping on the street? Lucky you were not in a coma?

As far as I understand 4 days of not drinking anything will result in coma alone already...

Sorry mate, I think you had a nightmare after watching a very violent movie :?

Eric

I think he was probably on a drip for the six days, so he wouldn't require water Eric, the saline solution would be enough to keep him hydrated.

Guest2046

Sorry, but ...

Postby Guest2046 » Sun, 04 Sep 2005 10:57 pm

I'm sorry you had to go through something like that, but no matter how safe you think a country is, it's still stupid to sit outside at night just because you didn't want to pay for a hotel room. You would have stood out like a sore thumb screaming "TOURIST!" to the robbers, almost an open invitation. I'm sure you wouldn't have asked for something like that, but the fact is, you provided them with the chance. It could've happened anywhere in the world, even the safest country. In the US, if you didn't have health insurance, I'm not sure if you would've gotten any medical care at all.

leem

Hong Kong

Postby leem » Mon, 05 Sep 2005 10:55 pm

I am unemployed and in debt. I don't see how I can pay the hospital back. They wanted the money, but since I didn't give them my
address I'm guessing they wrote off the bill as a charity case. Besides, if I was conscious and anyone had asked me if I wanted to go to the hospital and have surgery, I probably would have said no. Sometimes dying isn't the worst thing and maybe I could have recovered on my own.

While my memories may be a little fuzzy of my hospital stay, they seem too real to be a dream. By the way, despite not having free universal medical care, the USA has a law that requires hospitals to treat everyone in emergencies regardless of ability to pay.

In any case, I don't think anyone should be beaten or robbed. If it could happen to me, it can happen to anyone.

Guest2046

No, noone deserves it

Postby Guest2046 » Mon, 05 Sep 2005 11:43 pm

Yes, it could happen to anyone, anywhere. But you made assumptions that heightened your risk. Nowhere is safe. I was told San Francisco was safe when I went there, but as an Asian female in an unfamiliar city, I would never skimp on a hotel room at night. That would be stupid. It nearly killed me to have to put it on my credit card, but I'd rather not be raped or killed. Someone in the next street from Union Square where I was was murdered the second day I arrived. It's not worth it. Do you even have health insurance in the USA? What you should have is travel insurance with medical benefits when you travel, whether or not you're healthy. That's what it's for. When I went to the US for my clerkship, part of the requirement was that I have insurance cover for the entire period I was there. Even travelling on a budget can be done more cautiously. Hongkong is not safe. Especially not in today's economic climate where people are throwing themselves off buildings because they can't make ends meet. All you have to do is read the papers. Asia is no safer or more dangerous than the best or worse cities in America. If you do sensible things. Prevention is better than cure.

Hospitals are full of sick and old people. Poor, sick and old people. You were lucky to get medical care at all. I'm not sure if you would've gotten the same treatment in Singapore if it happened here (yes, it's very likely to happen if the same circumstances were replicated), sorry to say. No payment, no treatment. And by the time they found enough info on you to contact the American embassy, you might have been brain damaged beyond repair. It can get worse than death. And if you don't have an advanced directive or DNR order on you, doctors assigned to your case are meant to implement resuscitation to the best of their ability.

I'm sorry you had to go through that. It's a devastating experience that should not happen to anyone. The perpetrators were inexcusable and should be brought to justice. But it could have been prevented. There is no guarantee that they would not have broken into your hotel room and done the same, but the risk is very much reduced. I know it sounds harsh, but that's the reality of it. Take it as a lesson learnt. I hope that you recover well enough to go back to a normal life soon.

Regards.

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Postby dot dot dot » Tue, 06 Sep 2005 8:20 am

sounds familiar?

Sept 4, 2005
HK outraged by 'inhumane' attack

Slashing of boy sparks outpouring of sympathy as four people, including stepmother, are charged
By Vince Chong
Hong Kong Correspondent

IT WAS a crime that bordered on the savage.

Image
Shum Ho Yin's biological mother Lam Yuet Ming (left) hugging the boy's stepmother Hong Man Yi, before the latter was implicated in the attack. -- APPLE DAILY

The revelation that two masked men, armed with knives, had accosted and slashed seven-year-old Shum Ho Yin on Aug 25 left just about everyone in Hong Kong speechless.

Words like 'shameful' and 'inhumane' boomed from the city's news reports on the attack, and bewilderment turned to white-hot fury after police caught the alleged perpetrators a week after the cold-blooded assault.

These included the boy's stepmother of five years, Hong Man Yi, 22. Two men were nabbed by mainland police in neighbouring Shenzhen on Wednesday night while four men and one other woman were arrested by Hong Kong police on Thursday.

Three more men were collared on Friday, bringing to 11 the total number of suspects related to the crime. Aged between 16 and 48, all are Hong Kong residents.

Local media reports say the suspects included Hong's 23-year-old former boyfriend, surnamed Tsang. Both the alleged assailants, police say, are teenagers.

Hong, who is unemployed, and three of the men were charged yesterday with conspiring to 'unlawfully and maliciously wound Shum Ho Yin', according to a court document.

The brutal attack severed the muscles of Ho Yin's right arm, leaving the boy - who has a passion for drawing - uncertain if he will regain full use of his arm.

Ho Yin was walking to a tuition centre near his home with his 69-year-old paternal grandmother when two men in caps and masks jumped out of a taxi and attacked him. They reportedly slashed away at him for about a minute before shouts from people nearby drove them off.

Despite his trauma, the first thing Ho Yin said after he woke up from surgery was to ask after his grandmother, said the boy's father, Mr Shum Wai Sing, 27.

In a last-minute media briefing called a day after the attack, Hong Kong Chief Executive Donald Tsang condemned the act as having 'evoked the wrath of God and humans alike'.

'I feel shocked, heart-broken, and outraged,' Mr Tsang said, echoing the emotions of many others in the city.

The attack sparked an outpouring of sympathy, with celebrities like Hollywood star Chow Yun Fat donating money to the boy's family.

Speaking from his hospital bed, the boy was quoted by the South China Morning Post as saying: 'I don't feel any pain now - not a bit. And I want to say thank you to all of you.'

Using fingerprints from the two knives left at the scene, and DNA samples from blood stains on a nearby metal railing, investigators were able to lock onto their suspects.

Portraits were drawn up with the help of witnesses and closed-circuit cameras which filmed the entire attack, said local media reports.

Another group of investigators checked up on the Shum family.

Quoting sources, media reports implied that Hong was jealous of her husband's philandering ways and had wanted to vent her frustrations on the boy.

Some said the boy could have angered Hong because he bullied his six-month-old stepbrother.

They added that police had suspected that the mastermind behind the attack - presumably Hong - had told a friend of her intention to 'remove the thorn in her eye'. The friend then agreed to make the arrangements.

Investigations also showed that the boy had been set upon previously, but was not hurt.

A neighbour known as Mrs Cheung was quoted by local media reports as expressing relief over the arrests.

'I was so happy when I heard the news,' she said, adding that children should never be dragged into relationship issues.

'We must impose heavy punishment on the attackers. How could they be so inhumane and brutal to a seven-year-old kid?'

The boy was reportedly shocked when he heard television news alleging that his stepmother had masterminded the attack.

Mr Shum, however, told the media after the arrest that his wife's relationship with Ho Yin did not appear bad.

'Ho Yin calls her big sister,' the restaurant manager said. 'And when I asked once whether he would like her to become his mother, he replied 'yes'.'

Ho Yin's biological mother, Ms Lam Yuet Ming, said that she was discussing her son's future with social workers.

'We will follow Ho Yin's own decision,' said the 24-year-old, whose occupation is not known. 'I will spend more time with him in the future. I wanted to do it in the past but I just could not do so because of my work.'



Eric

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Postby banana » Tue, 06 Sep 2005 1:03 pm

Who the f*ck hires goons to discipline a 7 year old? What a bunch of dipshits.
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Postby k1w1 » Tue, 06 Sep 2005 1:28 pm

Um, they weren't trying to "discipline" him... "Remove the thorn in my eye" indicates a slightly more evil goal. Sick, sick, sick.

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Postby banana » Tue, 06 Sep 2005 1:32 pm

Latest Dr Seuss book: Fun With Euphemisms...or Euthanasia
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