Page 3 - OHKF manpower executive summary B5 leaflet-7.4.2019'EN NEW7
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2. The severe shortage of doctors is exacerbated by a rapidly ageing population and the growing
             burden of chronic diseases

            i.  Hong Kong is home to a rapidly ageing population. The percentage of our population aged 65 years or above is expected to double from 15.9% in 2016
              to 29.1% in 2036 (representing an increase of approximately 1.2 million people). This wave of ageing of the baby boomers cohort is just at the beginning
              phase and the speed of population ageing in the next two decades is expected to increase.

           ii.  Ageing population and the more profound complexity of illnesses among the elderly correspond to a greater demand for health services, particularly
              in the public sector. This can be exemplified by public hospital bed utilisation ratios where in 2016, every 1,000 people aged 65 years or above required
              10.5 beds compared to 1.9 required by every 1,000 aged below 65 years. The ratio was 15.7 for every 1,000 aged 75 years or above. In other words, each
              of the abovementioned 1.2 million additional people aged 65 years or above would require 5 times as much of medical resources than those aged below
              65 years.

           iii.  Alongside ageing population is the rising prevalence of chronic diseases that adds to the burden of our already ailing health system. Thematic
              Household Survey data shows that in 2017, the prevalence of reported chronic diseases increased in every age group compared to that observed in 2000.
              Notably, the prevalence increase in younger age groups hints at an earlier onset of chronic conditions. Adding to the burden on our health system are
              those with multiple chronic diseases and more complex health conditions.

           iv.  Regardless of how we size the current shortage (not to mention the massive needs in the next decade), the current shortage of doctors is well above the
              number estimated by the Government and is in the thousands, not the hundreds. As the health needs of our population are becoming increasingly di cult
              to meet, the number of doctors for every 1,000 people aged 65 years or above has dropped from 13.9 in 2000 to 11.8 in 2017.  Concurrently, the number
              of doctors for every 1,000 people with chronic diseases dropped from 11.7 in 2000 to 7.2 in 2017. We estimate that Hong Kong will need an addition of at
              least 2,000 and 9,000 doctors, respectively, to bring the ratios back to the ones observed in 2000.
         3. Hanging on a rope stretched too thin — our public healthcare system is on the verge of collapse

            i.  Our public hospitals provide over 80% and over 90% of all inpatient bed days for the entire population and for those aged 65 years or above, respectively.
              They are, however, sta ed with just close to 50% of active doctors in Hong Kong.
           ii.  Although the number of public hospital doctors increased by 24% between 2008 and 2017, the growth in the number of public hospital inpatient and day
              inpatient discharges and deaths was 43% — nearly double. The growth rate of public hospital doctors did not match the upsurge in service demand and
              workload. As a result, each doctor has been having to care for an increasing number of patients that add to their already heavy workload.
           iii.  The situation is likely to worsen. Based on current healthcare utilisation patterns and population projections, the number of public hospital inpatient bed
              days utilised by those aged 65 years or above is projected to increase from the current 50% to more than 70% by 2036. Ageing clearly contributes to a
              substantially heavier burden on our already overloaded public healthcare system.
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