Logo of the Hospital Authority
|Established||1 December 1990|
|Legal status||Statutory body|
|Headquarters||Hospital Authority Building, 147B Argyle Street, Kowloon, Hong Kong|
|Ko Pat-sing, Tony|
The Hospital Authority is a statutory body managing all the government hospitals and institutes in Hong Kong. It is under the governance of its board and is under the monitor of the Secretary for Food and Health of the Hong Kong Government. Its chairman is Henry Fan.
Before the establishment of the authority, all health and medical issues were under the management of the Medical and Health Department. In 1990, a new health administration system was introduced as part of the 1989 reforms. The establishment of the Authority served to rebuild state capacity amid the emergence of party politics in Hong Kong. The department became the Department of Health and in 1991, the management of all the public hospitals was passed to a new statutory body, the Hospital Authority, which was established in 1990 under the Hospital Authority Ordinance. In 2003, the General Outpatient Clinics of Department of Health were transferred to the authority.
Hospital Authority has been providing services to the public under a cluster-based structure since 1993. It currently manages 42 public hospitals and institutions, 48 specialist outpatient clinics and 73 general outpatient clinics. These facilities are organised into seven hospital clusters according to their geographical locations, as shown in the table below. Each hospital cluster comprises a mix of acute and convalescent or rehabilitation hospitals to provide a full range of healthcare services.
|Hospital cluster||Service area||Population of the area in mid-2012|
|Hong Kong East Cluster||Eastern, Wanchai and Islands (apart from North Lantau) areas||825,400|
|Hong Kong West Cluster||Central and Western, and Southern districts of the Hong Kong Island||544,100|
|Kowloon Central Cluster||Mong Kok, Yau Ma Tei, Tsim Sha Tsui and Kowloon City, Wong Tai Sin districts||1,103,200|
|Kowloon East Cluster||Kwun Tung, Tseung Kwan O and part of the Sai Kung districts||1,012,000|
|Kowloon West Cluster||Districts of Sham Shui Po, Kwai Tsing, Tsuen Wan and North Lantau||787,600|
|New Territories East Cluster||Sha Tin, Tai Po, North and part of the Sai Kung districts||1,321,300|
|New Territories West Cluster||Tuen Mun and Yuen Long districts||1,085,300|
Hospital Authority Board
According to the Hospital Authority Ordinance (Cap 113), the Chief Executive of Hong Kong appoints members of the Hospital Authority Board governing the authority. The present board consists of 27 members, including the chairman. Membership of the authority comprises 23 non-public officers, three public officers and the chief executive of the authority. Apart from the chief executive of the authority, other members are not remunerated in their capacity as board members.
Current and former chairmen
- Sir Sze-yuen Chung, GBM, GBE, JP (1 December 1990 – 31 March 1995)
- Peter Woo Kwong-ching, GBM, GBS, JP (1 April 1995 – 30 September 2000)
- Lo Ka-shui, GBS, JP (1 October 2000 – 30 September 2002)
- Edward Leong Che-hung, GBM, GBS, OBE, JP (1 October 2002 – 8 July 2004)
- Anthony Wu Ting-yuk, GBS, JP (7 October 2004 – 30 November 2013)
- John Leong Chi-yan, SBS, JP (1 December 2013 – 30 November 2019)
- Henry Fan Hung-ling, SBS, JP (1 December 2019 – present)
Current and former chief executives
- Yeoh Eng-kiong, OBE, JP (January 1994 – September 1999)
- William Ho Shiu-wei, JP (20 September 1999 – 19 September 2005)
- Ko Wing-man, JP (acting, 24 March 2003 –[?])
- Vivian Wong Taam Chi-woon, JP (acting, 20 September 2005 – 28 February 2006)
- Shane Solomon (1 March 2006 – 23 July 2010)
- Leung Pak-yin, JP (8 November 2010 – 31 July 2019)
- Ko Pat-sing, Tony (1 August 2019 - )
To perform its roles and exercise its powers, the board has established 11 functional committees:
- Audit and Risk Committee
- Emergency Executive Committee
- Executive Committee
- Finance Committee
- Human Resources Committee
- Information Technology Services Governing Committee
- Main Tender Board
- Medical Services Development Committee
- Public Complaints Committee
- Staff Appeals Committee, and
- Supporting Services Development Committee.
Hospital Governing Committees
To enhance community participation and governance of public hospitals, the authority has established 31 Hospital Governing Committees in 38 hospitals and institutions. These committees received regular management reports from the hospital chief executives, monitored operational and financial performance of the hospitals, participated in human resources and procurement functions, as well as hospital and community partnership activities.
Regional Advisory Committees
To provide the authority with advice on the healthcare needs for specific regions of Hong Kong, the authority has established three Regional Advisory Committees. Each of the committees meets four times a year.
The authority is funded primarily by Hong Kong Government subvention, which amounted to HK$42.5 billion for 2012–2013, equating to over 90% of the authority's total income. Its other incomes include hospital and clinic fees and charges, donations, and investment.
The authority's total expenditure was HK$46.1 billion for 2012–2013, with 70% used to pay staff, and 14% to pay for drugs and other supplies.
2003 SARS outbreak
In 2003, Hong Kong suffered from the outbreak of SARS and recorded considerable number of patients and casualties. The slow and delayed response of Hospital Authority was criticized. Believing that Hong Kong was safe from infectious diseases, the HA had inadequate preparation for facilities like isolated wards and single rooms that are important for the treatment of highly contagious diseases. In the early phase of the outbreak, public hospitals placed SARS patients in non-quarantined rooms that severely increased the chance of infection.
2008 milk contamination
On the day when a Hong Kong girl was diagnosed as the territory's first victim of the 2008 Chinese milk scandal, anxious parents were frustrated to discover that doctors at the special unit set up at the Princess Margaret Hospital were taking the day off. Deputy Director of Health Gloria Tam said that it was "not something so urgent that it needs to be dealt with in 24 hours... They can go during office hours tomorrow". Medical sector legislator Leung Ka-lau said the lack of daily cover during the crisis was "insensitive". While the first victim left hospital after successful treatment one day later, two more children were admitted to hospital on 22 September; the Hospital Authority was reportedly overwhelmed when over 100 parents demanding check-ups for their children at Princess Margaret amids confusion about referrals and registration procedures, causing Secretary for Food and Health, York Chow to grovel for having underestimated the problem. Chow pledged 18 additional facilities around Hong Kong would be operational the next day.
Waiting time for elective treatment is quite high. The average waiting time for cataract surgery in 2014 was 22 months.
- Cheung, Anthony B. L. (2006). "Reinventing Hong Kong's Public Service: Same NPM Reform, Different Contexts and Politics". International Journal of Organizational Theory & Behaviour. 9 (2): 216.
- "A General Brief about the Hospital Authority" (PDF). Hong Kong: Hospital Authority. June 2013.
- "Resources allocation among hospital clusters by the Hospital Authority" (PDF). Hong Kong: Legislative Council. 16 January 2014.
- "Hospital Authority Annual Report 2012-2013" (PDF). Hospital Authority. Archived from the original (PDF) on 16 July 2014. Retrieved 15 July 2014.
- Wan, Mariana (19 December 1993). "Yeoh to get top post in Hospital Authority". South China Sunday Morning Post. Hong Kong. p. 4.
- Hospital Authority Annual Report 2005–2006 (PDF). Hong Kong: Hospital Authority. p. 3.
- "Press statement after HA Chairman's interview" (PDF) (Press release). Hong Kong: Hospital Authority. 24 March 2003.
- Hospital Authority Annual Report 2005–2006 (PDF). Hong Kong: Hospital Authority. p. 5.
- "Minutes of Hospital Authority Board Meeting held on 30 March 2006" (PDF). Hospital Authority. Hong Kong. 3 April 2006.
- "Hospital Authority announces resignation of Chief Executive" (PDF) (Press release). Hong Kong: Hospital Authority. 23 July 2010.
- "Hospital Authority Announces Appointment of Chief Executive" (Press release). Hong Kong Government. 4 November 2010.
- Ma, Ngok (2004). "SARS and the Limits of the Hong Kong SAR Administrative State". Asian Perspective. 28 (1): 113.
- Ng, Kang-chung (22 September 2008). "HK parents frustrated as doctors take day off". South China Morning Post. Hong Kong. p. A5.
- Nickkita Lau & Diana Lee, "Fall guys - Sorry" Archived 30 September 2008 at the Wayback Machine, The Standard (23 September 2008)
- Lee, Colleen; Chong, Dennis (23 September 2008). "Frustrated parents clamour for help as hospital battles to cope". South China Morning Post. Hong Kong. p. A3.
- Britnell, Mark (2015). In Search of the Perfect Health System. London: Palgrave. p. 32. ISBN 978-1-137-49661-4.
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