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2017 Policy Address by Chief Executive (13)
XI.  Sports and Culture

Sports Development

218. In recent years, the Government has allocated substantial additional resources to promote sports in the community, support elite sports and maintain Hong Kong as a centre for major international sports events.  Over the past 10 years, the number of elite sports supported by the Hong Kong Sports Institute (HKSI) has increased from 13 to 17.  The number of athletes trained by the Institute has risen from about 650 to over 1 200, with full-time athletes increasing from about 180 to over 330 within five years.  Hong Kong athletes have excelled in major international sports events and our squad as a whole has grown stronger.  Hong Kong athletes have also done really well in world level competitions of non-Olympic sports, such as tenpin bowling, billiards and squash.  We need to step up our efforts in terms of provision of financial resources and venues, as well as elite sports development so as to support Hong Kong athletes in achieving better results.

219. I have decided to significantly increase the provision of sports facilities, and will spend a total of $20 billion in the coming five years to launch 26 projects to develop new or improve existing sports and recreation facilities amounting to a total of 54, including two sports grounds, nine football pitches, one sports centre, four swimming pool complexes, two lawn bowling greens, one cycling ground, four tennis courts, 11 outdoor basketball courts and 20 open spaces.  The Government will conduct technical feasibility study for another 15 sports and recreation facility projects to prepare for their implementation.  Besides, pre-construction works for the Kai Tak Sports Park, the largest sports project to be built in Hong Kong, are close to completion.

220. The Government proposes to use the Wan Chai Sports Ground for comprehensive development in 2019 at the earliest.  Apart from convention and exhibition venues, the development proposal will comprise trendy and novel recreation and sports facilities as well as other necessary community facilities for the district, with a view to optimising land use.  The TDC will conduct a feasibility study on this proposal.  The Government will consult the Wan Chai District Council and other stakeholders timely.

221. Sports and recreation facilities at schools can complement those provided by the Government for the public in various districts.  The EDB and the Home Affairs Bureau (HAB) will encourage public sector schools to further open up their facilities and review the promotion of sports development in schools to encourage students to develop a healthy sporting habit.

222. On the use of sports and recreation venues provided by the Government and the public's participation in the related activities, the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) will develop a new intelligent booking system for more efficient booking and enrolment services.

223. The Government has decided to inject $1 billion into the Elite Athletes Development Fund to further enhance the HKSI's efforts in nurturing elite athletes for Hong Kong.  The new career programme for retired athletes announced in last year's Policy Address was formally launched at the end of last year.

224. I announced in 2015 the commissioning of a consultancy study on how to support disabled athletes and promote sports participation by people with disabilities in a more comprehensive manner.  Public consultation on the study report has recently been completed, and follow-up work is in progress.

225. Major international sports events held in Hong Kong have grown significantly both in scale and level of participation.  Apart from the Hong Kong Marathon and the Hong Kong Sevens, the Formula E motor race, a first for our city, and the second Hong Kong Cyclothon held last year were all well received.

Culture and Arts

226. As regards arts and culture, the Government has continued to allocate resources to implement a series of measures to promote cultural development in the past few years.  Our vision is to develop Hong Kong into an international cultural city.

227. The HAB and LCSD implemented a number of measures in recent years in support of art groups and artists.  These include setting aside $150 million to strengthen the training of art administrators, and increasing the recurrent provision since 2014-15 to $60 million a year for the Hong Kong Arts Development Council and nine major performing art groups, so as to enhance the subsidies for local artists and art groups of different sizes.  In addition, the Art Development Matching Grants Pilot Scheme was introduced last year to encourage the community and the private sector to sponsor art and cultural activities.

228. As for venues, apart from the expansion of the Hong Kong Museum of Art, the foundation for the building of the East Kowloon Cultural Centre was laid last December.  The Government also strives to provide creative space for local artists and emerging art groups, such as art space in Aberdeen and Tai Po.

229. An important part of the Hong Kong's cultural infrastructure, the West Kowloon Cultural District (WKCD) is currently being developed into a world-class integrated arts and cultural district comprising local, traditional as well as international elements.  Its first permanent facility, the M+ Pavilion, commenced operation last year.  Other art and cultural facilities, including the Xiqu Centre, Art Park, Freespace and M+ Museum, will be completed one after another over the next few years.  Last December, the WKCD Authority signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Palace Museum of our country to take forward the development of the Hong Kong Palace Museum in the WKCD.  The new museum will enhance the diversity of the WKCD's facilities and its attractiveness to both locals and visitors from the Mainland and overseas.

230. To ensure the WKCD can fully attain its vision of meeting the long-term infrastructural and development needs of Hong Kong's arts and culture, and to foster the organic growth of cultural and creative industries, the Government has decided to provide the WKCD Authority with an enhanced financial arrangement by granting it the government-owned development rights of the hotel/office/residential portion of the WKCD.  The Authority may develop the hotel/office/residential facilities jointly with the private sector through open tender and a Build-Operate-Transfer arrangement, and share rental revenue from such facilities to sustain the operation of the WKCD.  This will dovetail with the financing arrangement for the development of the third batch of art and cultural and related facilities, particularly a world-class Music Centre, to offer opportunities for local as well as Mainland and overseas music troupes and musicians to showcase their talent in the WKCD.

XII.  Healthcare

Healthcare System

231. To meet the challenge of an ageing population and the public's rising expectations, we must plan ahead for our healthcare services.  The Government will continue to take forward the dual-track system of public and private healthcare sectors, and provide sufficient resources and enhance the supporting infrastructure so our public healthcare services can continue to provide a safety net for the public, while their counterparts in the private sector can offer more choices for those who can afford them.

Healthcare Manpower Planning and Professional Development

232. The first territory-wide Strategic Review of Healthcare Manpower Planning and Professional Development will be completed early this year.  The review aims to make recommendations on ensuring a stable supply of healthcare professionals in the long run and charting the course of development with regard to the standards and regulation of the healthcare professions.

233. The Government has increased the number of medical student places in local universities three times since 2009, and will consider further increases having regard to the supply of and demand for doctors.  Looking ahead, the growth in healthcare services will be able to absorb new medical graduates.  The Government will adjust the provision of baseline funding for the HA, taking into account population growth and other factors, to meet its financial needs for service expansion.  We will continue to engage, on a need basis, non-locally trained doctors under limited registration to serve in the public healthcare sector.

Improving the Operation of the Medical Council of Hong Kong

234. The restrictions imposed by current legislation on the handling of complaints by the Medical Council of Hong Kong (MCHK) have resulted in mounting backlog of cases and protracted complaint handling process.  The Government will seek to re-introduce a Medical Registration (Amendment) Bill as early as possible into the LegCo in the first half of this year to address the concerns of the public by improving the MCHK's complaint handling mechanism, increasing lay participation and extending the validity period of limited registration of non-locally trained doctors from one year to three years.

Development of Public and Private Hospitals

235. We have commenced a number of projects under the 10-year Hospital Development Plan, for which a sum of $200 billion was earmarked last year.  As regards private healthcare services, a new private hospital will be commissioned early this year and the construction of the Chinese University of Hong Kong Medical Centre has started.  The Government will continue to facilitate the further development of private hospitals.

Regulation of Private Healthcare Institutions

236. The Government will introduce a bill into the LegCo in the first half of this year to enhance the regulation of private healthcare institutions.

(To be continued)
Ends/Wednesday, January 18, 2017
Issued at HKT 13:10
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