Hospital Authority welcomes budget allocation in 2016-17

The following is issued on behalf of the Hospital Authority:

     The Hospital Authority (HA) Chairman, Professor John Leong, welcomed the 2016-17 Budget announced by the Financial Secretary, Mr John C Tsang, today (February 24) at the Legislative Council, making available a financial provision of $51.6 billion to the HA.

     Professor Leong said that the financial provision from the Government, together with the HA's internal resources, will enable the HA to meet the growing demand arising from a growing and ageing population.

     "During the year, we will witness the commissioning of the first phase of Tin Shui Wai Hospital to augment the service capacity in New Territories West Cluster, while preparation is also in full swing for service commencement of Hong Kong Children's Hospital by 2018," he said.

     "Across the territory, we will open 231 beds in the Kowloon East, New Territories East, New Territories West and Hong Kong East Clusters, and establish the Authority's fifth Joint Replacement Centre in Hong Kong West Cluster."

     Professor Leong added that healthcare services for the elderly would be further enhanced by strengthening the Community Geriatric Assessment Team Services and increasing the quota of general outpatient clinics.

     To address the manpower shortage in public hospitals and work pressure of front-line staff, the HA Chief Executive, Dr Leung Pak-yin, said the HA would continue to increase its manpower across all staff grades, including the recruitment of all available local medical and nurse graduates. Arrangements would continue to be made for retirees to rejoin the HA, through additional funding by the Government, to address imminent needs for manpower and expertise.

     "To alleviate pressure on the public healthcare system, we will deploy the investment return from the $10 billion endowment fund to finance and enhance the clinical public-private partnership initiatives," Dr Leung said.

     Outlining the key patient care programmes, Dr Leung remarked that treatment and management of cancers and chronic diseases like cardiac and renal diseases would be enhanced, while measures would be continued to improve patients' access to accident and emergency, surgical and endoscopic services, alongside broadened coverage of the HA Drug Formulary.

Ends/Wednesday, February 24, 2016
Issued at HKT 14:47