Council Meetings (Oral Question): Healthcare Services for New Terrtories West (2016.12.07)

MR CHAN KIN-POR (in Cantonese): President, it was pointed out in the main reply that a total of about 1 000 beds will be provided by CUHKMC and the hospital in Wong Chuk Hang. In addition, about 1 000 additional beds will be provided by other hospitals upon completion of their redevelopment and expansion. Thus, about 2 000 new beds will be provided in private hospitals in 10 years. That certainly is good news. May I know whether the Government will set indicators in formulating strategies for developing private hospitals? In other words, will it use more scientific indicators to determine when or how many additional beds should be provided? Will the Government set better indicators so that the number of beds will not fall out of line with the market demand?

SECRETARY FOR FOOD AND HEALTH (in Cantonese): President, let me give Members some background information first. At present, a total of only 4 000-odd beds are provided in the 11 private hospitals in Hong Kong. As Mr CHAN Kin-por pointed out just now, as many as 2 000 additional beds will be provided by the private hospitals in the next 10 years, which actually represents an increase of about 40% to 50%. Such a ratio is on the high side. Certainly, as I have said in my main reply, our direction is to allow private hospitals to continue to increase the number of beds because the ratio of beds provided in private hospitals is still small as compared to that in public hospitals. At present, at least 30 000 beds are provided in public hospitals. With an addition of 5 000 beds to be provided under the expansion plan in the next 10 years, only 35 000 beds will be provided. Therefore, when non-profit-making organizations submit proposals to build or expand private hospitals, the Government will process them positively in light of the actual situation.

Will we adopt a more scientific method (using ratios or the number of beds) to calculate how many beds are needed in private hospitals? We cannot do so for the time being. We hope to review the relevant situation after we have introduced the private Voluntary Health Insurance Scheme next year and implemented the various measures for promoting the balanced development of the dual-track system. And then we will consider, in the next stage, whether to set any specific number or indicator for hospital bed as Mr CHAN Kin-por has said just now.

Scroll to Top