Govt thanks private hospitals' help

August 17, 2022

Secretary for Health Prof Lo Chung-mau today expressed gratitude to private hospitals for continuously receiving patients referred from the Hospital Authority (HA) over the past few weeks.


Noting that the number of daily COVID-19 cases in Hong Kong remains high, the Government said the authority needs to adjust the scale of non-emergency services due to the recent increase in the number of hospitalised patients.


Such an adjustment is expected to affect nearly one-fourth of the services, making the situation undesirable.


The fact that private hospitals are willing to receive HA patients substantially helps to maintain the operation of the public healthcare system, which is also vital to protecting citizens' lives and safety, the Government pointed out.


Prof Lo met representatives from the Hong Kong Private Hospitals Association earlier to explore public-private partnerships among hospitals with a view to alleviating the pressure on public healthcare services.


After the meeting, all 13 private hospitals showed support for the Government's appeal by providing a total of 364 hospital beds at the initial stage. Moreover, the number of hospital beds could gradually be brought up to around 1,000 depending on the actual demand.


Upon the discussion between the authority and private hospitals, public hospitals have started to gradually transfer patients to private hospitals since late July.


Prof Lo thanked all private hospitals for their assistance, particularly St Teresa's Hospital which deployed additional beds in early August to cater for the authority's actual demand and CUHK Medical Centre which made use of its isolation ward to provide treatment for COVID-19 patients.


Other private hospitals have also been actively receiving patients from relevant HA clusters in response to the need in different districts, he said.


However, according to the authority, a small portion of patients in the public hospitals did not agree to be transferred to private hospitals for continuous treatment over the past few weeks.


The health chief emphasised that a professional evaluation must be conducted by the authority before it makes each transfer to ensure the patient is suitable for such an arrangement and no additional fees will be charged.


He appealed to patients and their families to co-operate with the transfer arrangement so as to contribute to the Government's anti-epidemic efforts.


The authority will continue to liaise closely with private hospitals to refine details such as the criteria for transfer and service adjustments in order to minimise the processing time, thereby enabling more suitable patients to receive treatment in private hospitals as early as practicable and allowing public hospitals to focus their resources on combating the epidemic.

Back to top