Health chief meets dental reps

February 27, 2024

Secretary for Health Prof Lo Chung-mau today met representatives of the Dental Association to hear their views on the Elderly Health Care Voucher Greater Bay Area Pilot Scheme.


He expressed concern over the association's criticism of the Mainland dental profession and regulatory system in their comments on the pilot scheme.


Noting that the Government attaches great importance to the training and regulation of the dental profession, Prof Lo said Mainland stomatologists, known as dentists in Hong Kong, have likewise gone through comprehensive and standardised training which is recognised by the country.


He added that the stomatology profession is regulated under the strict monitoring of the National Health Commission and health commissions/bureaus of various provinces and cities.


“I trust the dental industry in Hong Kong would respect their counterparts in other regions, including those on the Mainland; and uphold the principles of mutual respect, mutual learning and exchange, with a view to promoting positive development of the profession.”


Prof Lo highlighted that citizens have a say in determining how well-received the dental profession in Hong Kong is within the community and expressed hope dentists would proactively promote the further development of the profession and their services, and stay true to their aspiration in serving the public.


He also hoped the dental profession could continue its co-operation with the Government in pushing forward with various initiatives to strengthen the city's dental services to enhance the oral health of citizens.


As regards the Elderly Health Care Voucher Greater Bay Area Pilot Scheme, the health chief said there are two objectives for its implementation.


Firstly, it aims to provide more convenience for Hong Kong seniors living in Mainland cities in the Greater Bay Area by providing more service point options for them to use the vouchers to meet primary healthcare needs.


Secondly, to allow Hong Kong seniors to use the vouchers for receiving dental services at medical institutions in Shenzhen to address the pressing demand of the elderly seeking dental services, and hence to achieve a win-win situation.


Prof Lo emphasised that the Government attaches great importance to the service quality of the pilot medical institutions under the pilot scheme, and the medical institutions including the dental ones were selected via a robust process.


From last November to early this month, the Health Bureau and the Department of Health conducted market research and sought recommendations from the Health Commission of Guangdong.


They also inspected the facilities, equipment and operation of the medical institutions as well as met the relevant senior management to thoroughly ascertain the institutions' management structure and operation.


Prof Lo noted that since the launch of the Elderly Health Care Voucher Scheme (EHVS) at the University of Hong Kong-Shenzhen Hospital in 2015, eligible seniors can use vouchers to receive dental services at that hospital.


Under the pilot scheme, only two dental service points are added in Shenzhen when there are some 1,500 dentists in Hong Kong enrolled in the EHVS and providing services at over 3,300 service points.


Compared with the few service points in the GBA, local dentists are still the most accessible channel for Hong Kong seniors to seek dental services, he added.

Back to top