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Obstetric service suspension for non-locals to continue in 2015

The following is issued on behalf of the Hospital Authority:

    The Hospital Authority (HA) Board discussed and endorsed at the Administrative and Operational Meeting today (May 29) the continued suspension of obstetric service booking by non-local pregnant women in 2015. The Authority started the suspension of such bookings in April 2012 to ensure service priority for local mothers.

     The HA Board Members were briefed and updated on the latest obstetric and Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) services demand situation in 2014 and 2015, noting that the projected number of deliveries will be around 38 950 and 39 210 respectively, while the projected NICU occupancy rate will be around 106 per cent and 107 per cent respectively in public hospitals.

     "The projected deliveries in 2015 are slightly more than in 2014, and the increase will be 7 per cent when compared with that of 2013. The increase is mainly attributable to the increase in the number of deliveries by local pregnant women. The NICU occupancy rate for 2015 at 107 per cent is still higher than the optimal rate as recommended by the HA Co-ordinating Committee in Paediatrics," the HA spokesman said.

     The HA spokesman pointed out that the continued suspension of obstetrics booking for Non-Eligible Person (NEP) in 2015 was required, adding that, "Apart from consideration of the projected demand for obstetric and NICU services in 2014 and 2015, the Authority is still facing a shortfall of medical and nursing staff in 2015. Moreover, other gynaecology services have been scaled down to cope with the extraordinary demand for obstetrics services in the past years. There is a need to normalise the adversely affected gynaecology service in public hospitals.

     "With a focus to ensure the provision of priority and quality obstetric, gynaecology, and NICU services for eligible persons, the HA will not accept bookings from NEPs in 2015," the spokesman added.

Ends/Thursday, May 29, 2014
Issued at HKT 16:12


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