Motion on “Primary Healthcare Services & Land Supply to Facilitate Medical Services Development”(2010.10.15)

Remarks by Hon KP Chan on Primary Healthcare Services and Land Supply to Facilitate Medical Services Development at the Panel on Health Services on Oct 15, 2010

Primary healthcare services

Holding the view that the implementation of body check-up for the whole community could promote healthy lifestyle and preventive care and in turn reduce the future rise in both healthcare needs and health expenditure due to an ageing population, Mr CHAN Kin-por asked whether consideration could be given to providing body check-up for the whole community as suggested in the motion debate moved by him at the Council meeting on 11 March 2009.

SFH responded that thorough body check-ups might not be completely effective given that the effectiveness of tests for different non-communicable diseases varied among different segments of the population, and that different groups had different health problems and risks. As such, the Working Group on Primary Care had started developing primary care conceptual models and reference frameworks, starting from those for the prevention and management of common chronic diseases. In response to Mr CHAN’s further enquiry as to whether the Administration would report on a regular basis the progress in this regard, SFH advised that the Primary Care Office of the Department of Health would launch a campaign in partnership with healthcare professionals to promote the Government’s primary care development strategy and initiatives to the general public.

Land supply to facilitate medical services development

Referring to the question raised by the Chairman at the Chief Executive’s Question and Answer Session on the Policy Address on 14 October 2010 regarding the supply of land for the development of private hospitals, Mr CHAN Kin-por asked how could the Administration ensure that there would be sufficient hospital beds in the private medical sector to meet the anticipated increase in demand for private medical services to be brought about by the implementation of the proposed Health Protection Scheme.

SFH responded that apart from the four reserved sites (at Wong Chuk Hang, Tseung Kwan O, Tai Po and Lantau respectively) that had been planned for development of private hospitals, some private land owners had expressed interest to develop their land for hospital use. In support of the policy to facilitate medical services development in Hong Kong, the Administration would continue to identify suitable sites and facilitate any change of land use for this purpose. As regards the number of hospital beds in the private medical sector, it was estimated that the known redevelopment projects of existing private hospitals would increase the number of hospital beds by 20% to 30% in three to four years’ time. Coupled with the development of new private hospitals at the four reserved sites, there would be considerable increase in hospital beds in the private medical sector in the years to come.

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