Page 2 - OHKF manpower executive summary B5 leaflet-7.4.2019'EN NEW7
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Our Hong Kong Foundation has actively been advocating for the need to improve our ailing health system to
              make it fit for purpose in the 21  century. We previously launched a health policy research report that looks into how
              Hong Kong’s health system can prepare and adapt in the face of (a) an ageing population and (b) the growing burden
              of chronic diseases that have become more prevalent among younger generations. We advocate for system-wide
              changes to be developed, designed and implemented in moving towards a primary care-led, integrated, person-centred
              health system that adequately meets the healthcare needs of our population.

                     Amidst the many challenges faced by our health system, the issue of shortage of doctors remains unresolved and
              has once again resurfaced in the public arena causing widespread concerns. Particularly in the public sector, the severe
              shortage of doctors contributes to the challenge of timely access to quality healthcare for our local population and
              immediate action needs to be taken. While the current study puts focus on the critical doctor shortage issue in Hong
              Kong, we recognise that many other aspects of our health system need enhancement for a good health ecosystem and
              these will be addressed in future reports.

         1. Hong Kong’s health system is challenged by the severe shortage of doctors

            i.  Su cient healthcare manpower is fundamental in a well-functioning health system that provides timely and appropriate care to meet healthcare needs of
              the population. However, in the city’s first comprehensive healthcare manpower review by the Food and Health Bureau (2017), projections forecasted a
              shortfall of approximately 500 doctors by 2020 and 1,007 by 2030. Notably, these projections assumed the maintenance of the 2015 standard of health
              services provision (and various other assumptions that may not be realistic), a standard characterised by chronically overloaded public hospital wards
              manned by chronically overworked doctors. As we work to move away from this standard of care, the projected shortfalls are clearly underestimated.

           ii.   In 2017, our population of close to 7.4 million people was served by 14,290 fully registered doctors, equating to having approximately 1.9 doctors for every
              1,000 people in Hong Kong. This number is well below the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) average of 3.4 and we lag
              behind international peers including Singapore (2.4). In other words, Hong Kong needs an addition of approximately 3,000 doctors to catch up with
              Singapore, and approximately 10,000 doctors to catch up with other well-developed regions. This shortfall would continue to worsen if we do not
              increase the number of doctors in the public sector on a massive scale very quickly. In tackling a shortage of doctors, reference could be made to
              Singapore- a place with fewer doctors per 1,000 population than Hong Kong in 2008 but subsequently increased the total number of doctors by 70% to
              surpass Hong Kong in less than a decade.
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