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Hospital Authority welcomes allocation in 2017-18 Budget
The following is issued on behalf of the Hospital Authority:

     The Hospital Authority (HA) Chairman, Professor John Leong, welcomed the 2017-18 Budget announced by the Financial Secretary, Mr Paul Chan today (February 22) at the Legislative Council, which makes available a financial provision of $55.3 billion to the HA.
     Professor Leong said that the increase in financial provision from the Government, together with the HA's internal resources, will enable the HA to meet the challenge of increasing demand arising from a growing and ageing population.
     "During the year, the newly commissioned Tin Shui Wai Hospital will progressively enhance its services, while Hong Kong Children's Hospital is also entering the final stage in preparation for service commencement by 2018.
     "To meet the growing demand, we will open 229 beds across the territory and increase quotas for specialist and general outpatient services. In particular,  healthcare services for the elderly would be further enhanced by setting up geriatric fragility fracture co-ordination services in designated acute hospitals," said Professor Leong.
     To address the manpower shortage in public hospitals and the work pressure on frontline 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, and the continuation of the Retired and Rehire Scheme.
     "We will also continue to make use of investment returns generated from the $10 billion Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Endowment Fund allocated to the HA to operate clinical PPP programmes to alleviate pressure on the public healthcare system," Dr Leung said.
     Outlining the key patient care programmes, Dr Leung remarked that the treatment and management of cancers, stroke, cardiac and renal diseases would be enhanced, and patients' access to accident and emergency, surgical, endoscopic and diagnostic imaging services will be improved, while mental health services will be strengthened by enhancing services for patients with common mental disorder.
Ends/Wednesday, February 22, 2017
Issued at HKT 18:00
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