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Sharing knowledge on clinical advances at Hospital Authority Convention
The following is issued on behalf of the Hospital Authority:

     Around 100 distinguished Mainland, overseas and local speakers will share their knowledge and insights on various health topics of interest with more than 5,000 healthcare and academic professionals at the two-day annual Hospital Authority (HA) Convention 2019, which is taking place today and tomorrow (May 14 and 15).
     The HA Convention 2019 is focusing on the HA's core values, namely "People-centred Care", "Professional Service", "Committed Staff" and "Teamwork". It aims to promote the sharing of knowledge and experience on clinical advances and approaches to modern healthcare service, and facilitate exploration and discussion of contemporary concepts among healthcare professionals and stakeholders.
     The HA Convention 2019 was officially opened this morning by the Chief Executive of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, Mrs Carrie Lam; Vice Minister of the National Health Commission, Professor Wang He-sheng; the Secretary for Food and Health, Professor Sophia Chan; the Chairman of the HA, Professor John Leong; and the Chief Executive of the HA, Dr Leung Pak-yin.
     In his welcome address, Professor Leong expressed his gratitude to the Government for its forward-looking commitment in the public healthcare sector. "For 2019/20, the HA will receive recurrent subvention of HK$68.8 billion, which is double that of a decade ago. The Government has further substantiated its supportive stance by setting aside HK$10 billion to set up a public healthcare stabilisation fund, providing contingency resource backup for HA in case of pressing emergent needs."
     Professor Leong also highlighted the 10-year Hospital Development Plan, which will enhance the hospitals' hardware. "These visionary plans will involve a total of 35 projects including new hospitals and expansion and redevelopment of existing hospitals to deliver some 14 000 additional beds.
     "While building hardware is essential, sustaining our human capital is another critical factor. The HA will continue to implement various recruitment drives and we hope to gradually relieve the frontline stress on our hospitals," he said.
     Professor Leong added that staff engagement was a major priority of the HA. "Embracing participatory planning and management, we proactively involve frontline staff in formulating measures for service development and enhancements.
     "Apart from linking with staff, empowering them is also important. With the Government's designated training fund in recent years, we are able to further enhance our training opportunities for strengthening our staff's competence and widening their perspectives.
     "On top of staff engagement and empowerment, effective organisational performance also requires good corporate governance. I am most pleased to see that the Board has strengthened its leading and managing role in the oversight of the HA's massive operation and in steering key corporate strategies, directions and policies."
     During his keynote address, entitled "Summing Up - Moving On", Dr Leung summarised the HA's achievements and experience and also envisaged the HA's journey ahead.
     "Throughout our history, the HA has been working with the Government in providing a comprehensive and seamless healthcare service to the population in a sustainable and affordable manner. Over the years, a variety of service modernisation and quality improvement initiatives were put in place with investment in people, technology, infrastructure and partnership."

     Facing the challenge of increasing service demand, Dr Leung said, "According to the latest projection, Hong Kong's population will increase from 7.4 million in mid-2018 to a peak of 8.22 million in 2043, and the percentage of population aged 65 and above will double from 17 per cent to around 34 per cent. The rapid pace and immense magnitude of the increase in service demand arising from the growing and ageing population present a formidable challenge to the HA."
     Dr Leung said that the HA has been proactively exploring alternative ways to meet and manage the demand to cope with the rapidly rising service demand, as well as reviewing service delivery models to optimise efficiency, streamline services and improve integration and coordination for good patient care.
     Deliberating on various means to attract and retain staff, Dr Leung added that the HA would remain open to new initiatives to strengthen the workforce, yet stay prudent in safeguarding the high quality and standards of the healthcare system by adopting practicable and sustainable new measures.
     "The Government has also allocated an additional recurrent funding of more than $700 million to the HA this year to boost staff morale and retain talent. With the implementation of various enhanced human resource initiatives, we do believe that the workforce situation will gradually improve in the years ahead."
     Alongside the hardware improvement brought by the two 10-year Hospital Development Plans that will largely meet the projected service demand up to 2036, Dr Leung envisaged an era of technology-driven healthcare.
     "We will continue to adopt information technology innovations as key enablers for modernising care delivery in order to alleviate the ever-increasing demand on public healthcare services. With a 'Smart Hospital' vision in mind, the HA will continue to enhance its information technology solutions and innovations for improving patient experience and service efficiency."
     Dr Leung said that the HA would also help deliver information technology systems in support of future service delivery to bridge the public and private healthcare information gap; and enhance corporate information technology systems relating to various functions including human resources, finance management as well as capital works planning.
     "Reaping the benefits of our in-house developed Clinical Management System, the HA has set up a Data Collaboration Lab to provide a secured collaboration platform between the HA and the research community to access the HA's clinical data and conduct data collaboration projects," said Dr Leung, adding that it could help improve services and ultimately promote healthcare innovation.
     In his concluding remarks, Dr Leung said he believed that with the solid foundation and experiences gained from the past, the unwavering support of the Government. the insightful guidance of the HA Board, the dedicated team of professional and healthcare staff in the HA, and the strong allies made during all these years, the next HA generation would stand firm in meeting new challenges and safeguarding the patient-centred public healthcare system in Hong Kong.
Ends/Tuesday, May 14, 2019
Issued at HKT 12:00
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