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About HKCFP > President’s Message

April 2023

As recently announced by the Under Secretary for Health, Dr. Libby Lee, Primary Healthcare is an important integral part of the entire healthcare system, accounting for about 20% of public healthcare expenditure. In order to address the current concentration of medical resources and pressure on public hospitals, the government launched the "Primary Healthcare Blueprint" at the end of last year, proposing a series of key reform measures to strengthen primary healthcare services in Hong Kong (please click).

Dr. Lee pointed out that the Government has set up District Health Centers or District Health Centers Expresses in all 18 districts in Hong Kong in 2022. Under the recommendations of the "Blueprint", the health center will gradually strengthen its role as a coordinator of primary medical services in the community and as a case manager, supporting primary medical doctors in the private sector. 

At the same time, the Government is strengthening the "one person, one family doctor" system. To ensure the quality of primary healthcare services, the Government is encouraging primary healthcare service providers to register and join the "Primary Healthcare Directory" as soon as possible. Under the proposal of the "Blueprint", the current "Primary Care Directory" will be transformed into the "Primary Care Registry", which will serve as a central register covering all primary care professionals and serve as a tool for standardisation and quality assurance of primary care services.

The Government is also working hard to gradually implement the proposals in the "Blueprint" in the short, medium and long term. In 2023-24, the focus will be on implementing the three-year "Chronic Disease Co-management Pilot Scheme" and the three-year pilot scheme to optimise the Elderly Health Care Voucher Scheme. Details will be announced in the third quarter of 2023. The Government is also actively planning to reorganise the Primary Healthcare Office under the Health Bureau into the Primary Healthcare Commission, and will announce details in due course.

The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health announced in early April that according to the latest surveillance data, local seasonal influenza activity has continued to increase in the past week and exceeded the baseline thresholds, indicating that Hong Kong has entered the influenza season. All sectors of the community should heighten their vigilance and enhance personal protection measures against influenza. From the latest surveillance data, the weekly percentage of detections tested positive for seasonal influenza viruses has increased from below 1 per cent in the first week of March to 9.89 per cent in the week ending 1 April. The majority of positive detections were influenza A(H1) (around 77 per cent) and A(H3) (around 21 per cent), with very low influenza B activity. Of note, past epidemiological data showed that children and adults aged from 50 to 64 years were relatively more affected in seasons dominated by influenza A(H1). A spokesman of the CHP said that given the local seasonal influenza activity has been staying at low levels over the past three years, the immunity against influenza in the local community may be relatively weaker than that in the past. The public, particularly children, the elderly and chronic disease patients, are urged to receive seasonal influenza vaccination (SIV) as early as possible. Strict personal, hand and environmental hygiene should be observed at all times (please click).

The Hong Kong Academy of Medicine (HKAM) has organised a Run/Walk Challenge, themed “Health for All, Move Forward Together”, in celebration of its 30th anniversary. As one of the founding Colleges of the HKAM, I represented our College and attended  the meaningful event with a team of our very own Hong Kong College of Family Physicians’ runners. Through this fun sports event, Fellows and specialist trainees are encouraged to exercise for better health and fitness, both physically and mentally, which ultimately contributes to quality patient care. The event has been held successfully at West Kowloon Cultural District on 19 March 2023, providing participants with a valuable opportunity to stay motivated and connect with peers.

Dr. David V K CHAO