Public Healthcare Services
75. The current-term Government has pledged to increase public health expenditure and to enhance healthcare services. The additional resources allocated for this purpose over the past few years reached a total of $13.7 billion. The Government will continue to work towards the objective of increasing healthcare spending to 17% of the Government's recurrent expenditure by 2012. We will endeavour to reduce the waiting time for specialist services, including cataract surgery, joint replacement, mental health assessment and consultation services for children and adolescents, magnetic resonance imaging and computerised tomography scanning. We will also strengthen the services for cancer patients, and add more new and effective drugs to the Drug Formulary.
76. In addition, we are actively preparing for the establishment of a multi-partite paediatric medical centre with more than 400 beds at the Kai Tak Development Area. Meanwhile, to meet the increasing demand for healthcare services in Tin Shui Wai, we have decided to build a new hospital in the area to provide accident and emergency services, in-patient services and ambulatory and community care services for local residents. We also plan to redevelop the four hospital blocks at Yan Chai Hospital to enhance the services. These three projects are expected to be completed in 2016.
Training for Healthcare Workers
77. We expect a substantial increase in the demand for healthcare practitioners, including doctors, nurses, pharmacists, radiotherapists, physiotherapists and occupational therapists. We will ensure an adequate supply of healthcare personnel for the provision of services through various measures, which include encouraging tertiary institutions to increase student places for these disciplines and strengthening training programmes provided by the Hospital Authority.