Machinist a true part of HA fabric
Even among those colleagues who have been with the Hospital Authority for decades, only a few will likely be aware of the job of ‘machinist’. Yet those individuals who hold this largely unknown position play an important supporting role at the Authority. Armed with her sewing machine and experienced seamstress’ eye, Leung Hang-choi has used her stitching skills for a diverse range of tasks at HA during the past 25 years.
Leung joined Alice Ho Miu Ling Nethersole Hospital (AHNH) on 13 December 1990 when it was still located on Bonham Road and went with the hospital when it moved from Hong Kong Island to Tai Po in 1997. Every day, she will sew or repair as many as 50 items, which may include staff work clothing, inpatient clothing, bedding and other fabric items.
Leung says that sewing is a skilled craft that requires continuous practice. During her early years with the hospital, Leung made almost everything – from patients’ clothes to the curtains in her office. Over time, as the hospital began to outsource more of its clothes-making needs, her work shifted to focus more on repairs. Leung adds that one positive change over time has been the improvement in safety features on sewing machines, which have significantly reduced the risk of injuries.
Although Leung is not involved in frontline healthcare, she still has to handle ‘emergencies’ from time to time. In one instance, she helped save the day for a doctor who needed to replace some buttons that had fallen off his gown just minutes before he was due to attend an important ceremony.