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Health Care System in Hong Kong

This serves the purpose of introducing the structure and organizations of the health care system in Hong Kong.

Food and Health Bureau

The bureau is responsible for the health care policy in Hong Kong and overlooks the major public organizations locally.

Public Health Care

  • Hospital Authority

It was established since December 1991. There are totally 41 public hospitals with 27,041 hospital beds. There are 49 Specialty Out-patient Clinics (SOPC) and 74 General Out-patient Clinics (GOPC). The total expenditure in 2010/2011 is 37.9 billion. The number of in-patient discharge and death in 2010 is 1,423,705. The number of out-patient attendance in 2010/2011 is 6,630,190 for SOPC and 4,979,754 for GOPC. The number of Accident and Emergency attendance in 2010/2011 is 2,237,249. The hospital authority employs 5,051.9 doctors, 280 interns and 5.3 dentists at 31 March 2011. They account for 9.1% of the total employees. It employs 20,101.8 nursing staff which account for 34.4% of the total employees. Allied health care personnel including dietitian, pharmacist, physiotherapist and occupational therapist etc. are 5,617.8 (9.6%). Others are health care assistants and administrative staff.

  • Department of Health

The organization includes Centre for Health Protection which is responsible for the control of infectious disease. Other services include, child assessment service, Chinese medicine, clinical genetic service, dental service, drug office, elderly health service, family health service, forensic pathology service, medical device control office, methadone clinics, office for registration of healthcare institutions, port health, primary care office, professional development and quality assessment office, radiation health, registration of healthcare professionals, student health service, and tobacco control office.

Private Health Care

  • Private Hospitals

There are totally 11 private hospitals in Hong Kong and they provide health care facilities for the visiting doctors and only some of them employ resident doctors.

  • Private Clinics

These include major health management organizations and privately owned clinics which are either solo-practice or practice in partnership.

Hong Kong Medical Council

This is a quasi-judiciary organization which maintains a register of eligible medical practitioners (general and specialist registration), administers the licensing examinations, issues guidelines and a code of professional conduct, exercises regulatory and disciplinary powers for the profession, answers general enquiries from doctors and public, and maintains a list of quotable qualifications. At 31 December 2010, there are 12,620 medical practitioners with full registration and a total of 52 specialties with 5,019 specialists.

The Dental Council of Hong Kong

At 31 December 2010, there are 2,179 registered dentists in Hong Kong.

The Chinese Medicine Council of Hong Kong

At 31 December 2010, there are 9,079 Chinese Medicine Practitioners in Hong Kong.

The Nursing Council of Hong Kong

At 31 July 2011, there are 40,365 nurses (both registered and enrolled) in Hong Kong.

Other Regulatory Councils

These are Midwives Council of Hong Kong, Occupational Therapists Board, Physiotherapists Board, Medical Laboratory Technologists Board, Optometrists Board, Radiographers Board, and the Chiropractor Council.

Education Institutes

  • The Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine of the University of Hong Kong

It offers the programs of Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS), Bachelor of Nursing, Bachelor of Chinese Medicine, and Bachelor of Pharmacy.

  • The Faculty of Medicine of the Chinese University of Hong Kong

It offers the programs of Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBChB), Bachelor of Nursing, and Bachelor of Pharmacy.

  • The Faculty of Health and Social Sciences of the Polytechnic University of Hong Kong

It offers the programs of Bachelor in Medical Laboratory Science, Bachelor in Radiography, Bachelor of Science in Occupational Therapy, Bachelor of Science in Physiotherapy, Bachelor of Science in Nursing, and Bachelor of Science in Optometry.

  • The School of Chinese Medicine of the Hong Kong Baptist University

It offers the programs of Bachelor of Chinese Medicine and Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Science, and Bachelor of Pharmacy in Chinese Medicine.

  • The Open University of Hong Kong

It offers the program of Bachelor of Nursing.

Hong Kong Academy of Medicine

The 15 member Colleges are Anaesthesiologists, Community Medicine, Dental Surgeons, Emergency Medicine, Family Physicians, Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, Ophthalmologists, Orthopaedic Surgeons, Otorhinolaryngologists, Paediatricians, Pathologists, Physicians, Psychiatrists, Radiologists and Surgeons.

Major Medical Organizations

These include the Hong Kong Medical Association and the Hong Kong Doctors Union.

Medical Indemnity Organizations

At the present stage the Medical Law in Hong Kong is limited to the medical negligent claims. Most Hong Kong doctors are covered by the medical indemnity insurance program offered by the Medical Protection Society from the United Kingdom. The Hong Kong Medical Association is responsible for collecting the membership fees and maintaining the services. Upon help call from the members, the Medical Protection Society will divert the service to local solicitors. The Hong Kong Doctors Union also offers an insurance program provided by a local insurance company but it is less popular.

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