但問題是港劇最爲人詬病的問題就是絕大部分的港劇跟香港市民的生活實況相差太遠，如果我們對港劇所呈現的畫面都信以爲真的話，我們還真的會以爲在香港，每個人都住得起私人樓宇、一個人工作賺錢就一定開得起 Nissan Murano 或 Land Rover ，甚至以爲每個醫護人員下班之後都過著《妙手仁心》劇情裏的那種悠閒生活。
When I saw Bowie Lam acting as Lau Chun Hong in the TVB drama When Heaven Burns last year, I thought of his another Hong Kong drama in earlier years—Healing Hands. I still remember that the drama attracted quite a large fan base back then. It was also said to have inspired some young boys and girls to study hard to get into medical school or other degree programmes which are related to the medical industry, such as pharmacy and nursing, in the hope that when they graduate, they can enjoy the lifestyle of the medical staff in the drama.
In the drama Healing Hands, I was more impressed with Bowie Lam, Lawrence Ng and YoYo Mung. In this three-series long drama, the young medical staff enjoyed their dinner and drinks at luxurious restaurants and pubs or busy spending time with their lovers after working. If the audiences have no clue of the real life of medical staff, they would have thought that all medical staff are enjoying life this way—living in sophisticated condominium, driving luxurious cars, and they have time to enjoy good food at the famous restaurants in town, after dinner they would enjoy the night breeze with their lovers at Victoria Harbour, sweet-talking with their lovers while viewing the fascinating Hong Kong night scenery. In conclusion, they have no worries in life and they are very free and relaxed, just like what the Cantonese term aptly describes as taa4 tiu4 (Cantonese pronunciation).
But the problem is that HK dramas are notorious for being way too unrealistically different from the real life of most Hong Kongers. If we are to take everything appears in HK dramas seriously, we would have thought that in Hong Kong, everybody affords a private apartment, a working class person affords to drive Nissan Murano or Land Rover, or we would even believe that every medical staff enjoys life relaxingly like the roles of the Healing Hands story did.
In fact, the work of medical staff has never been relaxing, let alone free (unless the hospital or clinic is on the verge of closing down). Try to think from this perspective—how do you feel for staying awake all night? How do you feel when you have to work for twelve hours after sleeping for only an hour? Try to imagine that you work for 36 hours without sleeping—from 7am to 7pm today, night shift from 7pm to 5am or 6am tomorrow, you close your eyes after 5am but forcing yourself to avoid a sound sleep, and you wake up at 6:30am and work another full shift from 7am to 7pm. Doctors are even worse; they don’t have time for their family and lovers because they need to work for 24 hours without rest, even when their parents are saying goodbye they don’t have time to rush home to see them for the last time (this is no kidding). And they need to read many research papers and write theses to keep themselves abreast of the latest medical knowledge and development. If they fail to keep themselves updated of the latest knowledge and make medical mistakes, they risk bankruptcy if they are sued by their patients, for according to law, this is called ‘the details which should have been paid attention to but being ignored, and it caused medical malpractice’.
Haven’t doctors been advising us to have healthy lifestyle, sleep and rise early, go for a jog when we’re free, and do not stay awake all night? We know all these dos and don’ts, but do doctors practise it themselves? Sorry to say that doctors do not have the American time (Taiwanese colloquial, literally means free time) to enjoy the sleep and exercise that the public enjoys. Doctors and medical staff are very clear that working round the clock harms their health, but they have no choice. Even if they are really exhausted, it is impossible for them to tell the patients in the emergency rooms and intensive-care units ‘we’re terribly sorry, we’re dead beat tired and we need one day off, if you have your hands and legs broken in a car accident, please visit the hospital next door’. It is even more impossible for them to tell the patients they prescribed the wrong medicine or made mistakes during a surgery because they have heavy eyelids due to their 36-hour work shift.
The toiling inexperienced by most ordinary people is kept unseen behind the pride of doctors. But we don’t understand that, so we thought doctors earn the highest income, they are the smartest people so we don’t expect them to make mistakes, they work without sleep to take care of the patients and this is called practising medicine to help the people.
In fact, despite being honoured by the society, doctors need normal working hours and more rest than we do. Unfortunately, the honour and pride blind the society’s eyes, we are not really willing to listen to them, and they have no choice but to accept silently and continue to work industriously.
Doctors and medical staff, are you guys still alright? Do you need to take a leave and go home for a sleep?