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, welcomed the various healthcare initiatives in the 2017 Policy Address delivered by the Chief Executive, Mrs Carrie Lam, at the Legislative Council today (October 11).
     Professor Leong remarked that the Policy Address has outlined important medical policies and proactive development plans for safeguarding the healthcare well-being of all Hong Kong citizens.
     In particular, Professor Leong expressed gratitude for the Government's exceptional agreement to commit to a three-year funding arrangement to the HA. "With the new triennium progressive funding arrangement, the Authority will be able to formulate proactive plans and sustained initiatives for the coming three years, through medium-term strategies, to augment the capacity of public hospital services and manpower to meet the challenges of increasing demand and the ageing population.
     "While we are progressing smoothly with the 10-year Public Hospital Development Plan undertaken now with $200 billion earmarked, we will also start the next round of public hospital development planning in the coming five years to address the long-term need of our ageing population," he said.
     "Taking the opportunity of increasing medical graduates in the coming years, the HA will increase the Resident Trainee posts to recruit and provide specialist training to all qualified local medical graduates. Together with enhanced training and increased promotion opportunities, we should be able to gradually relieve the shortfall in doctors accumulated over the years," Professor Leong said, adding that the HA would continue to rehire retired healthcare professionals for training and knowledge transfer, while alleviating manpower pressure in specialties.
     To crystallise the benefits of multidisciplinary care, the HA will set up more nurse clinics, as well as recruit more pharmacists to strengthen clinical pharmacy service.
     "In response to community appeals to provide greater support for patients with uncommon disorders, we will review the current co-payment arrangement with a view to subsidising specific patients for use of ultra-expensive drug treatments under the Community Care Fund Medical Assistance Programme, and explore different means to subsidise eligible patients to participate in drug companies' compassionate programmes on specific drug treatments," Professor Leong said.
     "We concur with the Government's overall direction in developing a comprehensive and co-ordinated primary healthcare system, with a view to reducing pressure on Accident and Emergency service and reliance on hospital care. The HA will contribute to and participate in, wherever appropriate, the medical-social collaboration models, and support the Government's disease prevention and screening policies and programmes with relevant HA clinical data of hospital patients and diseases," Professor Leong remarked.
     "Once again, we are very thankful for the Government's strong commitment and resolve towards promoting healthcare for the community as demonstrated in the Policy Address. The Authority shall diligently follow up on the steer and the direction, while at the same time take into account the views expressed by front-line staff during the recent visits to public hospitals by the Secretary for Food and Health, Professor Sophia Chan," Professor Leong added.

Ends/Wednesday, October 11, 2017
Issued at HKT 18:10