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Public Healthcare Reform in Hong Kong
With growing community needs, the economic downturn, an increasingly aging population with continual illness, and expensive high-technologically-base medicine, the Government has carried out a series of healthcare reforms. We can't deny that the healthcare quality has been improved compared with the 80s. However, since the challenges of an aging population, technological advances, resurgence of infections and a growing burden of mental health disorders still exist, the Government has to face and need to continuously improve the healthcare systems. In the future, it may be necessary to introduce a system of healthcare expenditure to meet the needs of long-term care for old age and disability and catastrophic needs.
As Hong Kong changes and becomes more affluent, rather than becoming simpler, its health problems will become more complex and difficult to resolve. The Government should introduce a diversified system which not only the Hong Kong Government needs to provide hospital and outpatient services, it will also have to pay much greater attention to health education, prevention, and community medicine. Continuous health education not only can allow people to increase their health knowledge, but also can arouse a great awareness on their health, and thus achieve the prevention.
Hong Kong healthcare needs to be reformed, it is not only the needs of the Government, but also the needs of its citizens. However, we face a great problem and need to carry out the reforms carefully, as Hong Kong was a colony of British before 1 July 1997, under the British control, the healthcare system was almost unchanged. Most people especially the doctors were familiar with the old healthcare system and deep-rooted, it, therefore, is not easy for the new Government to carry out a series of healthcare reforms especially in funding and financing system. The new Government will face high public pressure and old civil servants' resistance in the future, and healthcare reforms should be carried out step by step.
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