, Hong Kong

Only primary care directory doctors allowed in government-funded programmes

These programmes include Elderly Health Care Voucher Schemes (EHVS).

The Health Bureau said only doctors registered in the Primary Care Directory will be allowed to take part in government-subsidised primary healthcare programmes starting 6 October.

Programmes include EHVS, the Colorectal Cancer Screening Programme and the General Outpatient Clinic Public-Private Partnership Programme. 

Those who are yet to be named in the directory by the end of the two-month grace period, i.e. 6 December will no longer be able to offer their patients subsidised services under the three programmes.

The bureau advised patients to verify if the doctors attending to them are listed in the directory, to make sure they can still receive subsidised services via the same doctor in the future. They can check it online or confirm with their doctor.

The Primary Healthcare Blueprint recommends the compulsory listing of all healthcare professionals who provide primary healthcare services in the directory.

At present, it is a requirement for doctors participating in the government-subsidised Vaccination Subsidy Scheme, the Residential Care Home Vaccination Programme, District Health Centre services, and the Chronic Disease Co-Care Pilot Scheme, which are about to be launched in the fourth quarter of this year, to be listed in the directory.

With this latest arrangement, the government will prolong the relevant requirement to cover all government-subsidised primary healthcare programmes, i.e. including the EHVS, the CRCSP and the GOPC PPP.

The bureau said such standardisation can “ensure that doctors participating in the programmes are receiving continuing medical education relevant to their disciplines, thus enhancing the quality assurance of primary healthcare services.”

By the end of August, 3,337 doctors were included in the directory. The government urged all doctors to finish the enrolment as early as possible so that they can continue to engage in the subsidised programmes.

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