The 2011 - 2012 Budget
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Budget Speech

Medical and Health Services

Public Health Care Services

157.      We have pledged to increase health expenditure to 17 per cent of recurrent government expenditure by 2012. We are working towards the target. In 2011-12, the estimated recurrent expenditure on health will be $39.9 billion, which accounts for 16.5 per cent of recurrent government expenditure and represents an increase of more than $3 billion over 2010-11.

158.      Apart from the new mental health services I just mentioned, the HA will use the additional funding to strengthen a range of other services. Taking into consideration the latest scientific evidence and medical technology development, it will enhance the efficacy of treating nine diseases by incorporating more drugs into the Hospital Authority Drug Formulary. It is estimated that 52 000 patients will benefit from this initiative each year. The HA will also conduct comprehensive health risk assessments for patients with hypertension and diabetes, and over 167 000 patients are expected to benefit from this service by the end of March 2012. The HA will also, through the collaboration between multi-disciplinary teams, enhance palliative care for patients with terminal cancer and end stage organ failure. It is estimated that an additional 2 500 patients will benefit from this measure in 2011-12.

159.      As for shortening the waiting time for specialist services, it is estimated that public hospitals will perform 3 000 additional cataract operations and another 3 000 patients will receive subsidy for cataract surgery in the private sector in 2011-12. The establishment of an additional specialist centre for joint replacement in 2011-12 will enable about 400 additional operations to be performed each year. The HA also plans to provide magnetic resonance imaging services to 3 400 additional patients and computerised tomography scanning services to 3 000 additional patients each year starting from 2011-12.

160.      To enhance the regulation of pharmaceutical products, the Department of Health (DH) has taken measures to strengthen the experience requirements for Authorised Persons of pharmaceutical manufacturers. It also requires all local manufacturers to adopt the enhanced microbiological monitoring model, and has stepped up the inspection and monitoring of manufacturers and wholesalers. In
2011-12, the Government will allocate $31 million additional funding to strengthen the regulation of drugs, including the establishment of a dedicated office on drugs in the DH. The provisions under the Chinese Medicine Ordinance on the mandatory registration of propriety Chinese medicines (pCm) have taken effect, and those relating to the label and package insert requirements will come into force at the end of this year. We will allocate an additional $8.4 million for the formulation of Good Manufacturing Practice (i.e. GMP) and the introduction of pharmacovigilance to raise the production standard of local pCm manufacturers.


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