HEALTHCARE | Staff Reporter, Hong Kong

Hong Kong to splurge $13b on public health facilities upgrade

That's over the next 10 years.

In a report, Secretary for Food & Health Dr Ko Wing-man said the Government plans to allocate $13 billion to improve public health facilities over the next 10 years.

Dr Ko today visited the Hong Kong Alzheimer's Disease Association's Jean Wei Centre at Tang Shiu Kin Hospital, which provides day care services and training in daily living skills for elderly people with dementia, and Ruttonjee Hospital in Wanchai, where new facilities have been proposed.

These include a new passenger escalator and lift to facilitate access, and more beds in the hospital.

After the visits, he told reporters public healthcare facilities are used more as the population grows and ages, triggering the need to enhance ageing and overcrowded facilities. The lump-sum payment is proposed for carrying out minor improvement works at public hospitals and clinics, more than half of which are housed in buildings completed over 30 years ago.

Hospital Authority Chairman Anthony Wu welcomed the Government's proposed grant. He said it allows the early implementation of more intensive improvement programmes and facilitates effective project planning with a medium-term perspective.

On the powdered formula supply stress test – a study of whether the supply chain can withstand a sudden surge in demand – Dr Ko said Food & Health Bureau staff held a meeting with suppliers and retailers earlier today to ensure the test can be carried out smoothly.

“We will not lift the export restriction on powdered formula easily until we are fully confident that the supply chain can handle demands including those at peak periods,” he said.

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