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LCQ10: Provision of free Wi-Fi services in public hospitals
     Following is a question by the Dr Hon Pierre Chan and a written reply by the Secretary for Innovation and Technology, Mr Nicholas W Yang, in the Legislative Council today (May 30):
     Report No. 70 of the Director of Audit published in April this year pointed out that the progress of the Government in expanding the coverage of Wi-Fi.HK services had been slow.  For instance, Wi-Fi.HK services were provided in only 12 (about 29 per cent) of the 42 public hospitals.  Regarding the provision of free Wi-Fi services in public hospitals, will the Government inform this Council:
(1) of the (i) number, (ii) daily average usage, (iii) installation cost and (iv) daily expenditure of the Wi-Fi hotspots currently provided in the various public hospitals concerned, with a tabulated breakdown by name of hospitals and location of such hotspots in the hospitals;
(2) of the reasons why Wi-Fi.HK services are so far not provided in most public hospitals; whether the authorities have drawn up a timetable for the provision of such services in all public hospitals; if so, of the details (including the number of Wi-Fi hotspots to be provided in various hospitals and the estimated expenditure);
(3) as the aforesaid Report pointed out that no Wi-Fi signages had been put up at certain venues equipped with Wi-Fi hotspots, whether Wi-Fi signages have been put up near each Wi-Fi hotspot in the various public hospitals concerned at present, so that members of the public are aware of the availability of such services at those places; if so, of the details (including the names of the hospitals); if not, the reasons for that; and
(4) as the information on the Wi-Fi.HK website shows that the distribution of Wi-Fi hotspot locations in various public hospitals is varied (e.g. Wi-Fi hotspots are available at the accident and emergency (A&E) departments, outpatient clinics, pharmacies, canteens of Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern Hospital and Prince of Wales Hospital, whereas Wi-Fi hotspots are available only at its A&E department and certain specialist outpatient clinics of Princess Margaret Hospital), whether the authorities will consider providing Wi-Fi hotspots at places in hospitals where more patients and their family members stay (including A&E departments, outpatient clinics, pharmacies and canteens); if so, of the details (including the timetable); if not, the reasons for that?
     In consultation with the Food and Health Bureau and the Hospital Authority (HA), our reply is as follows:
(1), (2) and (4) To dovetail with the implementation of the Wi-Fi.HK Public-Private Collaboration (PPC) programme by the Government, the HA has provided suitable venues at its public hospitals for participating service operators to install related facilities.  These service operators participate in the programme on a voluntary basis and bear all the costs for installation, equipment, operation and maintenance, etc.  The PPC programme has provided 223 Wi-Fi hotspots at 12 public hospitals for providing free Wi-Fi service starting from 2015.  Details are set out below:
  Name of hospital No. of hotspots Location of hotspots Daily average usage
1 Queen Elizabeth Hospital 13 Accident and emergency (A&E) department, walk-in clinic and ambulatory care centre 83
2 Yan Chai Hospital 22 A&E department and specialist out-patient clinic 55
3 Caritas Medical Centre 49 A&E department and specialist out-patient clinic 83
4 Kwong Wah Hospital 20 A&E department and specialist out-patient clinic 86
5 Hong Kong Eye Hospital 23 Eye out-patient clinic 23
6 Princess Margaret Hospital 62 A&E department and specialist out-patient clinic 94
7 Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern Hospital 5 A&E department, pharmacy, specialist out-patient clinic, 1/F of main building and restaurant 50
8 Queen Mary Hospital* 2 A&E department and pharmacy NA
9 Tseung Kwan O Hospital 4 A&E department, pharmacy and restaurant 34
10 Prince of Wales Hospital 5 A&E department, restaurant, cancer centre, pharmacy and blood taking centre 33
11 Tuen Mun Hospital 4 A&E department, pharmacy and restaurant 38
12 Tin Shui Wai Hospital 14 A&E department, radiology department, G/F lift lobby, specialist out-patient clinic, pharmacy, endoscopy investigation department, restaurant, allied health department and medical social services department 45
  Total 223  
*   The Wi-Fi service provided at the Queen Mary Hospital will be launched in June 2018.
     The Office of the Government Chief Information Officer launched another round of the Wi-Fi.HK PPC programme in April this year and invited service providers to provide free Wi-Fi service at more than 3 000 government venues, which include all public hospitals under the HA.  The service areas cover public waiting areas of public hospitals, including A&E departments, out-patient clinics, pharmacies, restaurants, etc.  It is expected that the service providers will install hotspots and roll out free Wi-Fi service progressively at the venues from 2019 onwards.
(3) In the two rounds of the PPC programme in 2015 and 2017, the HA has put up signage near the free Wi-Fi hotspots in the 12 aforesaid public hospitals to inform the public of the services.  Details of the location of all Wi-Fi hotspots in these public hospitals are also available on the Wi-Fi.HK website and the Wi-Fi.HK mobile app.
Ends/Wednesday, May 30, 2018
Issued at HKT 11:30
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