HK dentists most accessible: Govt

February 21, 2024

As some 1,500 dentists in Hong Kong have enrolled in the Elderly Health Care Voucher Scheme to provide services at over 3,300 service points, local dentists are still the most accessible channel for Hong Kong elderly people seeking dental services when compared with the few service points covered by the Elderly Health Care Voucher Greater Bay Area Pilot Scheme, the Health Bureau said today.


It made the statement in response to the Hong Kong Dental Association’s concern over the recently announced bay area health voucher pilot scheme.


The pilot scheme covers seven medical institutions in the bay area, five of which provide integrated services including dental services, while the other two are dental institutions.


Separately, the bureau stressed that the Government adopted a robust process for selecting the bay area institutions.


From last November to early February this year, the Health Bureau and the Department of Health conducted market research, sought opinions and recommendations from the Guangdong Health Commission, and paid site visits to inspect the facilities, equipment and operation of the medical institutions. Having considered key factors including service quality, experience in management and operation, as well as fee standards and level, the Government subsequently enlisted seven high-quality institutions for inclusion in the pilot scheme.


In addition, to ensure the sustainability of high-quality services, the Government is now working with various medical institutions on follow-up arrangements. In particular, a training and service assurance mechanism will be established for the bay area pilot scheme, encompassing such aspects as service quality, training and operation, fee level, complaint mechanism and patients’ experience.


The bureau noted the pilot scheme will, like the Elderly Health Care Voucher Scheme being implemented in Hong Kong, be equipped with a comprehensive and robust monitoring mechanism. While the Department of Health will keep a close watch under the training and service assurance mechanism, the public may also turn to the department and the pilot medical institutions for complaints.


The department is keeping contact with Mainland health authorities and will solicit their assistance when necessary, it added.

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