Hospital Authority welcomes Policy Address

The following is issued on behalf of the Hospital Authority:

     The Chairman of the Hospital Authority (HA), Professor John Leong, has welcomed the health-related initiatives in the Policy Address delivered by the Chief Executive at the Legislative Council today (January 13) which covers various initiatives to further enhance public healthcare services for the upcoming challenges.
     Professor Leong expressed gratitude for the Government's continual support and commitment to public hospital services. He also concurred with the need to continue strengthening the services for the elderly. "The waiting time for joint replacement services faced by the rapidly ageing population has significantly improved over the years following the establishment of four Joint Replacement Centres in various clusters. The HA will establish the fifth Joint Replacement Centre in the coming year to further reduce the waiting time," Professor Leong said.
     "The HA will also enhance care for the frail elderly and patients with terminal illness through the Community Geriatric Assessment Teams providing visits to more residential homes for the elderly and extending their support to residents with terminal illness in more clusters."

     He added that the heavy demand for general outpatient clinic services by the elderly will be met with a committed increase of quotas in the coming two years. The HA will also add around 230 beds in various hospitals and enhance endoscopy and imaging services this year.

     Professor Leong said he was delighted to see the Government's support in the long-term planning of public hospital projects under the 10-year hospital development plan, and the planning and service commissioning of various new hospitals and facilities in the coming years, including the Tin Shui Wai Hospital, the Hong Kong Children's Hospital and the new acute general hospital in the Kai Tak Development Area.

     Regarding the provision of psychiatric services, Professor Leong said, "Child and adolescent mental health services will be enhanced by additional multi-disciplinary professional teams, a peer support workers programme will be further rolled out to other clusters for patients with severe mental illness in the community, and specialist outpatient services for patients with Common Mental Disorder will be enhanced further."
     Renal services will also be strengthened with four new peritoneal dialysis service units, in addition to more hospital haemodialysis and home dialysis places. "The HA will continue to expand the HA Drug Formulary to cover additional drugs with accumulated scientific evidence and clinical efficacy to benefit more patients," Professor Leong added.

Ends/Wednesday, January 13, 2016
Issued at HKT 16:28