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LCQ20: Development of public and private hospitals

    Following is a question by the Hon Bernard Chan and a written reply by the Secretary for Food and Health, Dr York Chow, in the Legislative Council today (June 11):


    After the release of the Consultation Document on Healthcare Reform by the Government, there is a rising public concern about the development of public and private hospitals in the future. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council whether it knows:

(a) the latest statistics on the numbers and occupancy rates of beds in public and private hospitals, and such statistics in respect of each of the public and private hospitals; and

(b) the respective numbers of additional beds to be provided in public and private hospitals in the coming three years, and whether the Government has assessed if these additional beds are sufficient to meet the demand of the public and resolve the problem of shortage of hospital beds; if it has, of the outcome of assessment?


Madam President,

(a) As at March 31, 2008, there were 27,555 in-patient beds provided by the Hospital Authority (HA). According to the information furnished by private hospitals, there were 3,596 beds provided by the private sector as at June 5, 2008. The number of beds and occupancy rate of public and private hospitals are set out at Annex 1 and 2 respectively.

(b) As regards public healthcare services, to meet public's demand, HA takes into account a number of factors, including population growth and changes in demographic profile, service delivery model and utilitisation, advancement of medical technology and launching of new services, in planning the provision of services and the number of beds.  On the basis of these factors, HA has decided to provide 34 additional general beds in Pok Oi Hospital in 2008-09, and to provide about 300 additional general beds in Tuen Mun Hospital and Pok Oi Hospital in the next three years according to service demand. In the meantime, HA has also proceeded with the planning for expansion of the Tseung Kwan O Hospital and construction of a hospital in North Lantau and Tin Shui Wai. It is anticipated that these projects will provide additional beds for Kowloon East, New Territories West and North Lantau to meet the increasing service demand in these districts.

    Besides, HA will make continuous efforts to enhance the efficiency of its in-patient services and strengthen its ambulatory healthcare services through the use of advanced medical technology and in the light of the prevailing epidemiological trend. HA will also provide appropriate services to cope with the shift of service mode for treatment of chronic diseases and mental illness etc, with a view to reducing the length of stay of patients and demand for in-patient beds.

    Separately, according to the information provided by private hospitals on their existing development projects, it is anticipated that the number of beds in private hospitals will increase by about 320 to about 3,900 in the next three years.

Ends/Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Issued at HKT 12:08


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