The COVID-19 pandemic has presented exceptional challenges to public health system around the world. Hong Kong is no exception. To maintain the remarkable efficiency, professionalism and high adaptability of the healthcare system in Hong Kong, we need to make continuous improvements in multiple aspects in order to tackle the challenges posed to our healthcare services by an ageing population and the epidemic.
The COVID-19 pandemic has further highlighted the critical importance of a strong district-based PHC system. This Blueprint sets out our vision and outlines the specific recommendations and implementation plans to lay down a strategic roadmap for the future development of PHC in Hong Kong.
The successful development of PHC services should bring about positive impacts to the healthcare system of Hong Kong at the system, organisation and individual levels. The Research and Data Analytics Office in Recommendation 6.3 shall develop relevant mechanism (including tools and indicators) to measure the outcomes in the following areas –
- Increased coverage of preventive care for all, particularly for the target groups such as the low income and underprivileged groups
- More vertically and horizontally integrated healthcare
- Improved quality in PHC services
- Improved patients’ care experience and carers’ experiences
- Decreased waiting time for public specialist care
- Decreased utilisation of acute care and inpatient care
- Decreased age- and co-morbidity- adjusted hospital admissions and average length of stay
- Increased expenditure on PHC as a proportion of current health expenditure
- Increased public health expenditure on PHC provided by the private sector
- Decreased age- and co-morbidity-adjusted costs (in terms of manpower and expenditure) per healthcare case
- Improved health literacy
- Increased proportion of patients who have a family doctor or a case manager
- Decreased risk factors for health
- Decreased prevalence of age-adjusted chronic diseases
- Decreased prevalence of chronic disease-related complications
- Improved age- and co-morbidity- adjusted health status
- Improved quality of life of patients and carers
In accordance with the Blueprint recommendations, we expect to take forward various plans in phases over the short, medium and long term. During the process, we will make reference to international literature and experiences on health system performance measurement in developing the assessment framework and performance indicators for strategic purchasing, policy making, performance management and improvement of PHC services in Hong Kong.