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Assessing comprehensiveness of PHC services in HK (II): District health centres should provide support for mental healthcare services


Mental health is a growing public concern. Many people recognise that psychological well-being is just as important as physical well-being for staying healthy. Therefore, a comprehensive primary healthcare (PHC) system should be able to manage both physical and mental health needs of individuals. The Centre’s analysis examines the comprehensiveness of local PHC system in term of mental health services.

Advance Directives: Legal disputes to be settled


The Government is contemplating new legislation to uphold patients’ right to voluntarily refuse certain kinds of treatment in advance. In fact, the Government has conducted a similar public consultation several years ago, however it did not put forward the legislative proposal, explaining that discussing death is a taboo in the community. Despite the years gone by, the topic remains controversial and some questions still have to be answered.

Assessing comprehensiveness of PHC services in HK (I): Out-patient, oral and eye care services


Everyone experiences different health problems at various stages in life. Hence, it is impossible to engage a particular medical professional to manage care services of all medical specialties. The question is: How can a healthcare system be qualified as ‘comprehensive’? By adopting the ‘all-embracing care’ principle – one of the six primary healthcare (PHC) service assessment principles proposed by the Centre, this analysis examines the comprehensiveness of local PHC services in term of western and Chinese medicine out-patient, as well as oral and eye healthcare services.

Six assessment principles for Hong Kong’s primary healthcare services


To realise the vision of ‘Health for All’, community-based primary healthcare (PHC) services which focus on preventive care should be promoted. The Government has been trying to develop PHC services since 1990s. What has been accomplished after 30 years? The Centre has formulated an analytical framework with six assessment principles to examine the current situation and development of PHC services, and analyse the obstacles to it.

Turning health awareness into action by launching a free check-up plan


Health is priceless. Most people are aware of key factors for staying healthy, yet they rarely put them into practice for various reasons. Hong Kong could hardly achieve the vision of ‘Health for All’ if people are not health conscious nor willing to incorporate self-care ideas into their daily routines, even if the primary healthcare system is comprehensive. This article sheds light on the Centre’s suggestions that help raise the public health awareness and promote people’s healthy behaviour.

Records follow patients: A key to an integrated primary healthcare services


Interoperable electronic health records, which provide primary healthcare professionals with accurate and comprehensive health information of patients, can reduce duplicate tests and treatment. However, the current participation in the Electronic Health Record Sharing System (eHRSS) is on the whole unsatisfactory due to a lack of understanding of the eHRSS among Hong Kong citizens, and experiencing technical difficulties or insufficient incentives discouraged doctors’ registration. The Centre suggests some possible ways to address these problems.

Enriching manpower needed for primary healthcare development


The Government has proactively developed primary healthcare services in recent years in order to help people receive holistic healthcare in the community. However, the Centre’s latest research revealed that there are some obstacles to providing a sufficient number of quality healthcare professionals to serve the community. What measures should the Government introduce to overcome these challenges?

A step to health: Cohering the community health network


There are numerous organisations providing various kinds of primary healthcare services in the community, making it difficult for people to get the appropriate healthcare services they need. To facilitate people to obtain the most effective health support, it is important to integrate the community resources with public and private primary healthcare services and achieve care coordination.

Rerouting health journey: From disease-centred to patient-centred healthcare


Many Hongkongers are used to see a doctor only when they are sick, but in many cases, illnesses do not occur overnight and cannot be cured easily after the onset of disease. Members of the public should take a proactive role in disease prevention, thus reducing health risks. The Centre suggests engaging a community-based multi-disciplinary team of healthcare professionals in people’s health journey to facilitate self-management of health.

Enabling a paradigm shift from curative to preventive healthcare


People are used to see doctors only when they get sick. However, this health-seeking behaviour cannot always keep them healthy. With an ageing population and the growing prevalence of chronic illnesses in Hong Kong, the public hospital services are under huge pressure. As the first local District Health Centre in Kwai Tsing has just come into service, the Centre believes that it is a chance to reorient the healthcare services from ‘curative care’ to ‘preventive care’, from ‘specialist and hospital services’ to ‘community-based care’, as well as from ‘profession-led’ to ‘community engagement’ to completely change people’s health seeking behaviour.