CB(2) 557/98-99(03)

Legislative Council
Panel on Health Services
Meeting on 9 November 1998

Implementation of the Enhanced Productivity Programme
in the Department of Health


This paper sets out briefly the immediate targets of the Enhanced Productivity Programme.


2. On 7 October, the Chief Executive announced in his 1998 Policy Address the implementation of an Enhanced Productivity Programme (EPP) to press for higher civil service productivity. The aim of the EPP is to improve productivity and efficiency across Government (including the subvented sector) with a view to releasing existing resources to fund new initiatives.

3. EPP is a drive for greater productivity at a time when the economy is going through an adjustment. When new money is limited, we must look for opportunities in existing resources for reinvestment in priority areas.

4. While achieving productivity gains, we shall not allow a deterioration in the standards of services. We aim to achieve productivity gains through the following and other similar measures :-

  1. greater efficiency through streamlining procedures, reviewing work practices and removing duplication of work;

  2. harnessing technology for greater automation of work; and

  3. more flexibility in human resource management such as more use of contract appointments and out-sourcing of work.
Productivity Gains

5. For the next two years, the target is to achieve cumulative savings in recurrent baseline expenditure of 5% by 2002-03. This will be achieved by phases as follows :-

% of savings

6. In addition to this target, each department is required to identify in the near future any new or improved services that can be introduced during 1999-2000 using the same level of funding allocation. Such new initiatives could take the form of tangible improvements in service quantity and quality by raising the efficiency of service delivery or new or improved services funded by savings arising from efficiency or productivity gains in other activities of the department.

Way Forward

7. In the coming months, the Health and Welfare Bureau will work closely with the Department of Health to work out the strategies and plans to implement the EPP. For the immediate future, we will critically review the baseline expenditure to identify scope for redeployment of resources to fund the implementation of new or improved services in 1999-2000. The aim is to achieve higher efficiency and productivity for lasting and sustainable service improvements. Staff consultation will be conducted where necessary.

November 1998
Health and Welfare Bureau