LCQ9: Costs of services of Hospital Authority

     Following is a question by the Hon Leung Ka-lau and a written reply by the Secretary for Food and Health, Dr York Chow, in the Legislative Council today (June 13):


     In a reply to my question on May 9, 2012, the Food and Health Bureau pointed out that the mechanism of Hospital Authority (HA) for costing "was developed with reference to the practices of global medical institutions and the cost accounting standards", and it set out the percentages of various key cost components, including "direct service costs", "expenses on clinical support services", "costs of various non-clinical support services and daily expenses of hospitals", "institutional items", and "charges for services provided by government departments", in the total unit costs of "costs per patient day for general inpatient services", "costs per accident and emergency attendance" and "costs per specialist outpatient attendance" in the past four years.  In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a)given that the Government pointed out that the percentages of various cost components for 2011-2012 were being calculated by HA, whether it knows the progress of the calculation and whether it can provide any information at present; and

(b)whether it knows the percentages of the various aforesaid key cost components (including the expenditure on "doctors", "nurses" and "supporting staff" who are directly involved in the services of various specialties, the expenditure required for the "daily operation of various specialist services", "anaesthesia service", "pharmacy", "pathology", "diagnostic radiology", "allied health services", "meals for patients", "utility expenses", "repair and maintenance of medical equipment and machinery", "insurance costs", "information technology support for clinical computer systems", "building maintenance provided by the Architectural Services Department" and other expenditures, etc.) in the total unit costs of costs per patient day for general inpatient services, costs per accident and emergency attendance and costs per specialist outpatient attendance, and set out the information in the table in Annex 1?


(a)The Hospital Authority (HA) follows an established mechanism to calculate the average costs of various services every year.  Relevant costs will be calculated with reference to the total costs for each service and the corresponding volume of activities after the closing and audit of the final accounts for the year, and will be published in the HA Annual Report.  The financial statement of 2011-12 is being audited and the cost information of various services is expected to be published in the HA Annual Report by the end of 2012.

(b)As the complexity of patients' conditions and the diagnostic services, treatments and prescriptions required vary in different years, the average service costs of different services differ between years and cannot be compared directly.  Various key cost components from 2007-08 to 2010-11 are set out in the table in Annex 2.

Ends/Wednesday, June 13, 2012
Issued at HKT 12:55