For discussion
on 8.3.99

LegCo Panel on Health Services
Meeting to be held on 8 March 1999

Follow-up on implementation of the Enhanced
Productivity Programme in Hospital Authority and Department of Health


This paper informs Members of the productivity gain initiatives proposed by the Hospital Authority (HA) and the Department of Health (DH) to be implemented in 1999-2000, in the context of the Enhanced Productivity Programme (EPP).


2. At the meeting of 27 January, Members were briefed on the overall strategies to be adopted by HA and DH for the implementation of EPP. We undertook to keep Members informed of the progress.

3. Each public organization, including HA and DH, is required to produce a list of initiatives that it will implement during 1999-2000 from within the sum already allocated for that year. Thereafter, it will be required to deliver cumulative productivity gains amounting to 5% of its operating expenditure between now and the year 2002-03.

4. Accordingly, HA and DH have vigorously reviewed their recurrent expenditure commitments and drawn up a list of initiatives to enhance services through redeployment of productivity savings in 1999-2000. The total estimated price of these new initiatives is about $250 million.

Initiatives of HA For 1999-2000

5. From within its allocated recurrent budget of about $27,300 million for 1999-2000, HA will redeploy its productivity savings of about $224 million for funding the following new and improved services -

  1. Opening 120 additional infirmary beds in the Cheshire Home, Chung Hom Kok;

  2. Introducing nuclear medicine at the Kwong Wah Hospital and the Princess Margaret Hospital for about 1,100 patients each year. Nuclear medicine will be used to complement other imaging modalities in radiological examination;

  3. Shortening waiting time for first attendance in specialist outpatient clinics in four specialties, namely Medicine, Ophthalmology, Orthopaedics and Traumatology and Surgery, from the present 11-18 weeks to 9 weeks;

  4. Performing additional 1,300 cataract extraction surgery operations; and

  5. Enhancement of maintenance of biomedical equipment, electrical equipment and building services at Schedule II hospitals.

6. In addition to these proposals, HA will require 1% of hospitals' baseline budgets to be redeployed in 1999-2000 as "seed money" to be used for one-off expenditure on initiatives that can achieve future real money savings, eg investment in energy conservation and food production rationalization.

7. To facilitate hospitals in achieving productivity enhancement, HA has established task groups to formulate strategies, to provide advice and assistance to the hospitals and to facilitate the implementation of various productivity initiatives.

8. While HA will take into account in its planning and resource allocation processes the EPP, that is, to achieve 5% savings in recurrent baseline expenditure by 2002-03, it will ensure that the quality of services delivered to the patients will not be undermined.

Initiatives of DH for 1999-2000

9. DH has proposed various initiatives, at a total price of about $22.4 million, to enhance services in 1999-2000, including -

  1. Increasing the number of enrolment in the 18 Elderly Health Centres by 2,070, ie 5%. This will be achieved by streamlining procedures and better deployment of staff resources in the light of operational experience;

  2. Increasing the number of consultations in the general outpatients clinics by 79,000 for episodic illnesses and 60,000 for chronic patients;

  3. Increasing the number of annual assessment provided to diabetic patients from 25,000 to 45,000;

  4. Enhancing radiography service in the new Kowloon Bay Radiography Centre by increasing the number of plain x-ray and special x-ray to be taken from 19,700 to 48,700 and from 4,500 to 6,100 respectively; and

  5. Employing temporary staff to (i) prepare for registration of Chinese medicine practitioners in early 2000; and (ii) assist in the coming Nursing Board election.

10. Detailed implementation plans are being worked out.

Health and Welfare Bureau
March 1999