Hospital Authority welcomes 2023-24 Budget
The Hospital Authority (HA) Chairman, Mr Henry Fan, welcomed the 2023-24 Budget announced by the Financial Secretary, Mr Paul Chan, at the Legislative Council today (February 22). The 2023-24 annual subvention for the HA will be $90.9 billion (including $89.2 billion recurrent). In light of the subsiding local epidemic wave, the Government decreased the anti-epidemic related provision in 2023-24. Excluding the provision for tackling the epidemic in 2022-23, there is still growth in the 2023-24 annual subvention compared to the 2022-23 revised provision.
Mr Fan expressed his sincere gratitude to the Government for leading the community and the HA to ride out the epidemic. "In past three years, the Government has led the HA and the community to ride out the epidemic and resume normal lives with the country's staunch support. Services of public hospitals are also resuming normalcy gradually. We would like to express heartfelt thanks to the Government's continuous support to the HA in strengthening services and providing appropriate treatment and care for patients."
Mr Fan also gave thanks for the Government's commitment to sustain the development of public healthcare with the increased financial provision to the HA, despite facing pressure on public finances. In view of the staff turnover, the HA will continue to retain staff and attract new recruits to join the public healthcare system through various measures, including the extension of employment beyond the retirement age, introduction of a home loan scheme for staff, enhancing promotion opportunities and additional posts, etc. In addition, the HA proactively participates in and integrates into the development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA) through the implementation of GBA Healthcare Talents Visiting Programmes to foster the development of public healthcare services at both ends.
The HA will continue its endeavours in implementing measures for the sustainable development of public healthcare, such as developing smart hospitals. "We will continue to commence more smart hospital projects in different clusters to improve patient experiences and operational workflow through the application of advanced technology," Mr Fan added.
The HA Chief Executive, Dr Tony Ko, also expressed appreciation to the Government for its support in enhancing the service capacity of public hospitals. "The HA is devoting sustained efforts to various hospital redevelopment and expansion projects. New blocks of Haven of Hope Hospital and Kwong Wah Hospital (Phase 1) as well as the new Operating Theatre Block for Tuen Mun Hospital will commission services by phases. The HA is also committed to carrying out the redevelopment projects of Grantham Hospital, Queen Mary Hospital, Prince of Wales Hospital, Our Lady of Maryknoll Hospital, Kwai Chung Hospital and Kwong Wah Hospital (Phase 2); expansion projects of the Lai King Building in Princess Margaret Hospital, United Christian Hospital, North District Hospital, and construction of a new acute hospital at the Kai Tak Development Area so as to cope with the continuous growth in demand for public healthcare services.
"Moreover, public hospitals will open a total of around 100 additional hospital beds, enhancing services of specialist outpatient clinics, ambulatory care and geriatric day hospitals, enhancing drug refill and clinical pharmacy services, and also strengthening vascular and neuro-endovascular services in the next financial year," Dr Ko said.
The HA will enhance support for cancer patients, including strengthening genetic testing services for patients with myeloid blood cancer and lung cancer across clusters, enhancing radiotherapy and diagnostic radiology services. In addition, the HA will also enhance support for psychiatric patients by strengthening nursing manpower for psychiatric inpatient services, recruiting additional case managers and strengthening the psychiatric consultation liaison services.
Dr Ko said the HA supported the development of Chinese medicine and primary healthcare, and also expressed gratitude for the support of public healthcare services from the Government. The HA will be committed to ensure the implementation of the programmes for the wellbeing of patients.
Ends/Wednesday, February 22, 2023
Issued at HKT 17:45
Issued at HKT 17:45