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LCQ8: Services of hospital clusters of Hospital Authority
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     Following is a question by the Hon Leung Ka-lau and a written reply by the Secretary for Food and Health, Dr Ko Wing-man, in the Legislative Council today (June 4):

Question:

     In its Annual Plan 2014-2015 published last month, the Hospital Authority (HA) set out for the first time the actual numbers of the patients served by various hospital clusters (clusters) in 2012-2013, broken down by patients' district of residence, but it did not set out the corresponding populations in the catchment areas of the clusters as it did in the annual plans of previous years.  Moreover, in reply to a question raised by a member of this Council in respect of the Estimates of Expenditure 2014-2015, the authorities pointed out that HA had adjusted "the statistical delineation of the geographical populations" of the Kowloon East Cluster/New Territories East Cluster and the Hong Kong East Cluster (HKEC)/Kowloon West Cluster in view of the commissioning of the Tseung Kwan O Hospital and the North Lantau Hospital.  Regarding the service statistics of HA, will the Government inform this Council whether it knows:

(1)  the details of HA's adjustment to "the statistical delineation of the geographical populations" of various clusters;

(2)  the specific method for calculating "the actual numbers of patients served" by various clusters; whether patients who used services provided by more than one cluster were counted separately in the "actual numbers of patients served" by the clusters concerned;

(3)  the actual numbers of patients served by various clusters in each year from 2006-2007 to 2013-2014 after "the statistical delineation of the geographical populations" was adjusted and, among such patients, the percentage of those aged 65 or above (set out in tables of the same format as Annex 1); and

(4)  the following data of each cluster in each year from 2006-2007 to 2013-2014 after "the statistical delineation of the geographical populations" was adjusted (set out in tables of the same format as Annex 2):

(i)   the population of the catchment area;
(ii)  the percentage of people aged 65 or above in the population of the catchment area;
(iii) the number of patients in the catchment area;
(iv)  the percentage of patients aged 65 or above in the number of patients in the catchment area;
(v)   among the population of the catchment area, the percentage of those people who used the general and the specialist outpatient services provided by the cluster;
(vi)  the average median monthly income of the households in the catchment area; and
(vii) among the population of the catchment area, the number and percentage of the people from those households with an average monthly income less than half of the median monthly household income of all domestic households in Hong Kong?

Reply:

President,

(1) Following the changes in the utilisation of services by patients after the commissioning of the Tseung Kwan O Hospital (TKOH) and the North Lantau Hospital (NLTH), the Hospital Authority (HA) has adjusted the statistical delineation of the geographical populations of the Kowloon East Cluster (KEC) / New Territories East Cluster (NTEC) and the Kowloon West Cluster (KWC) / Hong Kong East Cluster (HKEC).  The adjusted arrangements are as follows:

(a)  In the past, the catchment area of the KWC only covered the northern part of the Lantau Island, while services for the southern part of the Lantau Island were provided by the HKEC.  With the commissioning of the NLTH under the KWC, the catchment area of the KWC has been extended to cover the entire Lantau Island;

(b)  Since the commissioning of the TKOH under the KEC, the number of residents in the Sai Kung district using the services of that hospital has been increasing.  As a result, the statistical delineation of the geographical populations of the KEC extended from only covering the Tseung Kwan O new town in the past to covering the population of the entire Sai Kung district.  

(2)  In the Annual Plan 2014-15 of HA, "the actual numbers of patients served" by the cluster means the number of patients who had used any service (including Accident and Emergency (A&E), in-patient, specialist and general out-patient services, etc) provided by the cluster concerned in 2012-13.  If the patient had used the services provided by more than one cluster, he/she would be counted in the "actual number of patients served" by those clusters separately.

(3)  The actual number of patients served by various clusters of HA from 2006-07 to 2013-14 and the percentage of the patients aged 65 or above are set out in Annex 3.

     HA provides different kinds of public healthcare services throughout the territory to enable patients to have convenient access to these services according to their needs. The public usually visit nearby medical facilities so as to facilitate the follow-up of their conditions and the provision of community support. Nevertheless, individual patients may have other considerations when they choose a medical facility for medical treatment.  For instance, they may choose to receive medical treatment at a specialist or general out-patient clinic in a district not of their residence for the convenience of travelling to and from their work place.  In addition, patients may also be transferred to an acute hospital in the proximity to the pick-up location having regard to the ambulance route.  As such, "the actual number of patients served" by various clusters reflects the overall utilisation patterns of the medical services of each cluster, including the residents living in or outside the cluster.

(4)  (i) íV (v) Annex 4 sets out the population in various districts, the percentage of people aged 65 or above in the districts, the number of patients and the percentage of patients aged 65 or above who had used any service (including A&E, in-patient, specialist and general out-patient services) provided by the HA, as well as the percentage of people in the districts who had used the specialist or general out-patient services in their corresponding clusters and other clusters from 2006-07 to 2013-14.

(vi) íV (vii) Annex 5 sets out the median monthly household income by District Council districts and the number and percentage of people from households with monthly income less than 50% of the median monthly household income of all domestic households of the same household size according to the statistics of the General Household Survey conducted by the Census and Statistics Department.

Ends/Wednesday, June 4, 2014
Issued at HKT 15:35

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