Hospital Authority launches electronic medical certificates

The following is issued on behalf of the Hospital Authority:

     The Hospital Authority (HA) announced today (February 13) that starting from March 6, all medical certificates (commonly known as sick leave certificates) issued by the HA will fully adopt a digital signature with an electronic version, to replace the traditional manually signed paper certificates. 

     The HA Chief Manager (Cluster Performance), Dr Larry Lee, said, "The new version of the medical certificate will adopt a digital signature without requiring a doctor to sign manually. The digital signature is of the same legal effect as a traditional manual signature. The digitisation of the medical certificate is an important milestone in the development of the smart hospital. It streamlines the process of telehealth services so as to enable the HA to enhance patient satisfaction."

     Same as the manually signed traditional paper medical certificate, the digitally signed medical certificate will include the patient's name and the information relevant to the consultation. The electronic certificate will be automatically stored in "My Record" under the HA mobile application HA Go feature "MyHealth" (see Annex). Patients can use it for a sick leave application or as a proof of consultation. For those patients issued with an attendance certificate, the electronic version will also be stored in HA Go. 

     The HA Chief Medical Informatics Officer, Dr Joanna Pang, said, "Electronic certificates can reduce the risk of losing the paper certificate. It is easy for patients to access, thus giving patients a better experience. Also, in future, if a patient is granted sick leave after a teleconsultation, the patient will receive an electronic medical certificate immediately. It is more convenient that the patient does not need to return to the hospital or clinic to obtain the certificate."

     There will be an encrypted QR code on the electronic medical certificate. By scanning the QR code and inputting the patient's name and sick leave date, the electronic medical certificate can be verified.

     The HA encourages patients to opt for electronic certificates in the future. However, the HA will continue to print paper medical certificates with a digital signature, and attendance certificates for patients.

Ends/Monday, February 13, 2023
Issued at HKT 15:20