Health in Hong Kong

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Hong Kong's medical infrastructure consists of a mixed medical economy, with 11 private hospitals and 42 public hospitals.[1][2] There are also polyclinics that offer primary care services, including dentistry.


Hong Kong is one of the healthiest places in the world.[3] Because of its early health education, professional health services, and well-developed health care and medication system, Hongkongers enjoy a life expectancy of 85.9 for females and 80 for men,[4] which is the third highest in the world, and an infant mortality rate of 2.73 deaths per 1000 births, the ninth lowest in the world.[5][6] The proportion of the population over 65 years old is expected to grow from 14% in 2013 to 18% in 2018, and the number of people with a long term condition is expected to increase by 33% over the same period.[7]

Hong Kong has high standards of medical practice. It has contributed to the development of liver transplantation, being the first in the world to carry out an adult to adult live donor liver transplant in 1993.[8]


Hong Kong has only about 1.7 doctors per 1000 people. Only 11 doctors qualified outside the country work in the public hospital system because the Medical Council places barriers to the employment of foreign doctors. There are about 6000 registered practitioners of Traditional Chinese medicine.[9]

Public healthcare[edit]

Free treatment, with small co-payments, is available to people with a Hong Kong identity card and to resident children under the age of 11.

Between 2007 and 2011 public spending on healthcare increased by 30%. In 2014/5, it was about 17% of all government expenditure.[10]

Department of Health[edit]

Hospital Authority Headquarters

The Department of Health, under the Food and Health Bureau, is the health adviser of Hong Kong government and an executive arm in health legislation and policy. Its main role is to safeguard the health of the community through promotive, preventive, curative and rehabilitative services in Hong Kong.[11] The main function of the department includes child assessment service, immunisation programmes, dental service, forensic pathology service, registration of healthcare professionals etc., though boards and councils (i.e. Medical Council of Hong Kong, Pharmacy and Poisons Board of Hong Kong) are independent statutory bodies established under the relevant ordinances that operate independently to discharge their statutory functions.[12]

Hospital Authority[edit]

Main article: Hospital Authority

The Hospital Authority is a statutory body established on 1 December 1990 under the Hospital Authority Ordinance to manage all 42 public hospitals and institutions in Hong Kong. It is mainly responsible for delivering a comprehensive range of secondary and tertiary specialist care and medical rehabilitation through its network of health care facilities. The Authority also provides some primary medical services in 74 primary care clinics.[13]

Emergency medical services[edit]

Medical and Healthcare Education[edit]

Hong Kong has only two comprehensive medical faculties, the Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, University of Hong Kong and the Faculty of Medicine, Chinese University of Hong Kong, and they are also the sole two institutes offering medical and pharmacy programs. Other healthcare discipline programs are dispersed among some other universities which do not host a medical faculty.

Private healthcare[edit]

Hong Kong's 11 private hospitals have partnered with the United Kingdom for international healthcare accreditation. All 11 hospitals are "Trent Hospitals" and have been surveyed and accredited by the United Kingdom's Trent Accreditation Scheme.[14] The Hong Kong Academy of Medicine is an independent institution with the statutory power to organise, monitor, assess and accredit all medical specialist training and to oversee the provision of continuing medical education in Hong Kong.[15] In addition, The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada has also accredited the postgraduate medical education (1994–present) in Hong Kong and allowed these graduates from the Hong Kong Academy of Medicine seeking RCPSC Certification and practising in Canada.[16]

The government is proposing a Voluntary Health Insurance Scheme in order to encourage more use of the private sector.[17]

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Hong Kong health indices among world's best". Government of the Hong Kong SAR. 2003-01-28. Retrieved 2008-02-01. 
  4. ^ " Centre for Health and Protection, Department of Health, HKSAR Government. Retrieved 2011-6-3.
  5. ^
  6. ^ "World Population Prospects: The 2006 Revision" (PDF). United Nations. 2007. Retrieved 2008-02-01. 
  7. ^ Britnell, Mark (2015). In Search of the Perfect Health System. London: Palgrave. p. 32. ISBN 978-1-137-49661-4. 
  8. ^ Live Donor Liver Transplantation: Current Status
  9. ^ Britnell, Mark (2015). In Search of the Perfect Health System. London: Palgrave. p. 33. ISBN 978-1-137-49661-4. 
  10. ^ Britnell, Mark (2015). In Search of the Perfect Health System. London: Palgrave. p. 31. ISBN 978-1-137-49661-4. 
  11. ^ "Homepage of the Department of Health, the Government of Hong Kong SAR". Hong Kong government. Retrieved 2007-11-13. 
  12. ^ "list of main services of the Department of Health, the Government of Hong Kong SAR". Hong Kong government. Retrieved 2007-11-13. 
  13. ^ "About Hospital Authority". The Organisation of Hospital Authority. Retrieved 2007-11-13. 
  14. ^ "Accreditation Details of Hong Kong Hospitals". Trent Accreditation Scheme. Archived from the original on 2007-08-26. Retrieved 2007-10-31. 
  15. ^ "The homepage of Hong Kong Academy of Medicine". HKMA. Retrieved 2007-11-13. 
  16. ^ "Postgraduate Medical Education systems (PGME) for International Medical Graduate (IMG) applicants seeking RCPSC Certification". The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. Retrieved 2007-11-13. 
  17. ^ Britnell, Mark (2015). In Search of the Perfect Health System. London: Palgrave. p. 34. ISBN 978-1-137-49661-4.