Sever acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) - Overwhelming public fears and confusion

Essay by cheungUniversity, Bachelor'sA-, March 2004

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SARS is the first severe and readily transmissible new disease to emerge in the 21st century. Though much about the disease remains poorly understood and frankly puzzling. The outbreaks of SARS in Hong Kong have threatened the health system and public confidence. All what we seen from the previous spread of SARS has exposed the weaknesses of current health system and miscalculation. This essay shall discuss the weakness of health system and give insight on preventive issue.

The weaknesses of Hong Kong health system

The SARS epidemic in Hong Kong affected 1755 individuals, including 300 deaths. Not until the late of June, the epidemic, which was regarded by WHO as one of the hardest to control, had ceased to spread. The territory's immense population density and fluid boundaries have contributed to the uncontrollable spread. And the lack of effective medicine and diagnostic test had further deteriorated the situation. However, it is quested that whether the current health system have enough capacity to face challenge in the coming future.

As Hong Kong is heavily relied on public health system while private sectors is only responsible for a minor role on it, it is without doubt that the Department of Health and Heath Authority have indispensable role in controlling the epidemic. Very disappointed that the department of health only became aware of the SARS outbreak from media reports on 11 March 2003 . DH had immediately prone into the issue however it is discovered that there were lack of common understanding from a population-based perspective between Department of Health and Hospital Authority to respond to the outbreak of SARS. The lack of consciousness of the magnitude of the outbreak has rapidly allowed the epidemic to spread in a community level. The nature of working relationship between HA and HD is being...