The 2012-13 Budget
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The 2012-13 Budget  
Budget Speech

173.       Next to education, health care is an area of great public concern. In the past few years, the Government has provided additional resources to improve health care services. The recurrent expenditure on health care will be almost $45 billion in 2012-13,
an increase of over 40 per cent when compared with 2007-08. The amount of recurrent funding allocated to the Hospital Authority will also increase by nearly 40 per cent to $40 billion in 2012-13. In the coming year, $2.2 billion will be allocated to meet expenditure on hospital projects, and $500 million to acquire and upgrade medical equipment for public hospitals.

174.       We have been continuously upgrading public health care facilities and specialist services through the provision of additional resources. In 2012-13, the Hospital Authority will increase its in-patient service capacity and strengthen its neonatal intensive care service. It will provide haemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis services for an additional 120 renal patients, provide risk factor assessment and management services for 84 000 diabetic and hypertensive patients, and set up eight new teams to take care of an additional 33 600 hypertensive patients. Moreover, the Hospital Authority will extend the coverage of its community-based case management programme for patients with severe mental illness to four more districts, and enhance its care for hospitalised mental patients by providing multi-disciplinary treatment. With additional resources, the Government is also taking forward health care service reform initiatives in a progressive manner. These initiatives include enhancing primary care, encouraging public-private partnership, implementing hospital accreditation, and developing a territory-wide electronic health record sharing system.

175.       In the past five years, the number of full-time medical staff of the Hospital Authority increased by more than 10 per cent to 60 000 in 2011-12, including the addition of some 300 doctors and 1 800 nurses. Looking ahead, we need to recruit yet more medical staff. Apart from increasing the provisions for medical services, we shall allocate $200 million to increase the number of first-year first-degree places in medicine by 100, nursing by 40 and allied health professions by 146.

176.       At the same time, we shall take forward health care reform through three initiatives, i.e. reviewing the health care manpower strategy, facilitating health care service development, and formulating a regulatory framework and operational details for the Health Protection Scheme (HPS). We expect to put forward specific proposals in the first half of 2013, and shall finalise the implementation arrangements and proceed with the necessary legislative process as soon as possible. I have earmarked $50 billion for providing the funding and appropriate financial incentives needed to support the healthcare financing arrangements.



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