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Gov’t to strengthen healthcare system

January 16, 2013
Chief Executive CY Leung says the Government will set aside resources to strengthen the public healthcare system and enhance its service quality.
Delivering the 2013 Policy Address today, Mr Leung said the Hospital Authority will add about 150 acute patient beds and 130 convalescent beds in the coming year, and explore the option of converting Wong Chuk Hang Hospital into an institution with convalescent and infirmary services.
The authority will expand the application of drugs listed in its Drug Formulary, he said, adding it "will also optimise its waiting list management of specialist out-patient clinics to ensure patients will receive the necessary service and treatment at the earliest possible time".
Mr Leung said the Government will revisit the demand for medical facilities in Kowloon and expedite the development of the reserved hospital site at the Kai Tak Development Area if necessary.
The authority will provide healthcare personnel with a special overtime honorarium starting from the first quarter, to add more consultation sessions during peak hours to further improve accident and emergency services.
In view of the ageing population and the changing public needs for healthcare services, the Government will form a steering committee to conduct a comprehensive review of the authority’s operation, to explore viable measures for enhancing the cost-effectiveness and quality of its services.
Mr Leung added the Preparatory Task Force on the Chinese Medicine Development Committee has put forward proposals on the committee’s terms of reference and composition.
"I will set up the Chinese Medicine Development Committee at the end of this month. The committee will focus its studies on policies and measures to further the development of the Chinese medicine industry."
Key study areas include enhancing the professional standards and status of Chinese medicine practitioners, strengthening research and development of Chinese medicine, and promoting treatment with integrated Chinese and Western medicine.