There will be no cuts to frontline medical staff, Secretary of Food and Health Ko Wing-man said on Thursday in reference to the Hospital Authority (HA) budget adjustments, according to RTHK.
The budget was announced by Financial Secretary John Tsang on Wednesday.
The HA will receive HK$51.6 billion in financial provision from the government this year, a slight increase from last year, when it received HK$49.9 billion. However, it is a decrease when seen as a proportion of total government expenditure. The provision from the government for this coming year accounts for 10.5 percent of total expenditure of HK$490 billion, as compared to last year, when it accounted for 11.3 percent out of HK$440.8 billion.
“We will not impose limits because of such a budget adjustment,” said Ko, “… We will not regress because of this adjustment.”
Ko said that it is important for the Hospital Authority take more measures to improve efficiency, because “we have to worry about population increases and pressures on medical technology,” he said to local media.
In the Hospital Authority’s press release published on Wednesday, it said “the financial provision from the Government, together with the HA’s internal resources, will enable the HA to meet the increasing demand arising from a growing and ageing population.”
The Hospital Authority also said that it would seek to “increase its manpower across all staff grades, including the recruitment of all available local medical and nursing graduates,” to address the shortage of medical staff. 231 beds will be added across Hong Kong and a new joint replacement centre will also be opened.