LCQ10: Financial provision for Hospital Authority

     Following is a question by the Dr Hon Pierre Chan and a written reply by the Secretary for Food and Health, Dr Ko Wing-man, in the Legislative Council today (December 7):


     Some people who are concerned with public healthcare services have pointed out that due to the growth and ageing of Hong Kong's population, the demand for public healthcare services has been increasing in recent years, but the total recurrent funding provided by the Government to the Hospital Authority (HA) for the same period has not increased correspondingly. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(1) of the guidelines and factors based on which the Government determines the total recurrent funding to be provided to HA;

(2) of the total recurrent funding provided to HA by the Government in each year between 2003-2004 and 2016-2017 (set out in a table);

(3) of (i) the total number of acute beds in public acute hospitals and, in respect of each public hospital, (ii) the respective attendances of specialist and general outpatient clinics, as well as (iii) the respective numbers of newly recruited full-time doctors of various ranks, and (iv) among these newly recruited doctors, the number of those who were appointed on a non-short-term contract basis, in each of the past five years (set out in a table); and

(4) of (i) the respective numbers of usual residents and mobile residents, (ii) the population growth, (iii) the sex ratios for various age groups, and (iv) the respective percentages of persons aged under 15 and those aged 65 or above in the population, of Hong Kong in each of the past five years (set out in a table)?

     My reply to the question raised by Dr Hon Pierre Chan relating to the financial provision for the Hospital Authority (HA) is as follows: 

(1) In determining the level of recurrent funding to the HA, the Government will take into account a number of factors, including the actual operational needs and financial situation of the HA as well as the Government's overall fiscal position, so as to ensure that adequate resources are available to HA for provision of public healthcare services of good quality to the community.
(2) The annual recurrent funding to HA provided by the Government for the period from 2003-04 to 2016-17 is set out in the table below:
Year Recurrent funding
($ million)
2016-17 (estimate) 50,765
2015-16 (revised estimate) 50,776
2014-15 49,046
2013-14 45,670
2012-13 42,130
2011-12 37,910
2010-11 33,517
2009-10 32,156
2008-09 31,065
2007-08 29,101
2006-07 27,446
2005-06 26,941
2004-05 27,708
2003-04 28,973

(3) The services of the HA are organised and provided through its seven hospital clusters.  Manpower and hospital beds can be flexibly deployed within a cluster according to service and operational needs. On in-patient service, since acute beds and convalescent beds can be flexibly deployed in accordance with actual needs, the volume of in-patient service is indicated by the total number of general beds (including acute beds and convalescent beds). Annex 1 sets out the number of general beds in each hospital under the HA in the past five years. Annexes 2 and 3 set out the number of specialist out-patient (clinical) attendances and general out-patient attendances in each hospital and clinic under the HA in the past five years.

     The number of newly recruited full-time doctors of various ranks and those appointed on a non-short-term contract basis in the past five years is set out in the following table:
Rank 2011-12 2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16
Consultant 2 0 0 1 14
Senior Medical Officer / Associate Consultant 5 0 5 3 2
Medical Officer /
Resident Doctor
308 299 309 330 403
Total 315 299 314 334 419

Note 1: The intake refers to the total number of permanent and contract staff (full-time) joining the HA during the period (on headcount basis). Transfer, promotion and staff movement within the HA are not counted.
Note 2: The intake of doctors includes interns appointed as resident doctor.
(4) Tables 1 to 3 in Annex 4 show the relevant population figures provided by the Census and Statistics Department.

Ends/Wednesday, December 7, 2016
Issued at HKT 18:30