Policy Address

Public Healthcare System

130. With our anti-epidemic efforts sustained over the past 21 months, all confirmed COVID-19 patients have received timely and proper treatment in hospitals. This is an extraordinary achievement which demonstrates the remarkable efficiency, professionalism and high adaptability of the healthcare system in Hong Kong. That said, there are still inadequacies in our healthcare system. We need to make improvements in multiple aspects in order to tackle the challenges posed to our healthcare services by an ageing population. Among these, there is a pressing need to vigorously promote the development of primary healthcare services and foster medical-social collaboration.

131. I have advocated, as early as in my 2017 Policy Address, the setting up of District Health Centres (DHCs) with a brand new operation mode to promote primary healthcare to relieve the pressure on the HA. After years of hard work, we have and are going to set up DHCs in Kwai Tsing, Sham Shui Po, Wong Tai Sin, Tuen Mun, Southern District and Yuen Long, and DHC Expresses have also been set up in another 11 districts. In parallel, the FHB has proceeded with a comprehensive review on the planning of primary healthcare services and governance framework to formulate a blueprint for the sustainable development of primary healthcare services in Hong Kong. Enhancement of medical-social collaboration will be a crucial part of the review.

Public Health Strategy

132. The COVID-19 pandemic has presented exceptional challenges to public health authorities around the world. Hong Kong is no exception. We will take stock of the progress made over the past 21 months and consolidate our experience in combating the epidemic. We will also consider strengthening the core functions of the DH in formulating and implementing public health strategies, as well as monitoring and facilitating the development of health technology and the research and development of drug, so as to enhance its capability to cater for the future development of society and public health.