Hospital Authority

Hospital Authority

Refer to caption

Logo of the Hospital Authority
Abbreviation HA
Established 1 December 1990 (1990-12-01)
Legal status Statutory body
Headquarters Hospital Authority Building, 147B Argyle Street, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Coordinates 22°19′28″N 114°11′00″E / 22.3244°N 114.1833°E / 22.3244; 114.1833Coordinates: 22°19′28″N 114°11′00″E / 22.3244°N 114.1833°E / 22.3244; 114.1833
Hong Kong
John Leong Chi-yan
Chief Executive
Leung Pak-yin
  • HK$47.2 billion (2013-2014)
  • HK$45.5 billion (2012-2013)
Hospital Authority Building, where the Hospital Authority Head Office is located

The Hospital Authority (Chinese: 醫院管理局) is a statutory body managing all the public hospitals and institutes in Hong Kong. It is under the governance of its board and is under the monitor of the Secretary for Food and Health of the Hong Kong Government. Its chairman is John Leong Chi-yan.


Before the establishment of the authority, all health and medical issues were under the management of the Medical and Health Department. In 1990, a new health administration system was introduced. The department became the Department of Health and in 1991, the management of all the public hospitals was passed to a new statutory body, the Hospital Authority, which was established in 1990 under the Hospital Authority Ordinance. In 2003, the General Outpatient Clinics of Department of Health were transferred to the authority.

Hospital clusters

Hospital Authority has been providing services to the public under a cluster-based structure since 1993.[1] It currently manages 42 public hospitals and institutions, 48 specialist outpatient clinics and 73 general outpatient clinics. These facilities are organised into seven hospital clusters according to their geographical locations, as shown in the table below. Each hospital cluster comprises a mix of acute and convalescent or rehabilitation hospitals to provide a full range of healthcare services.[2]

Hospital cluster Service area Population of the area in mid-2012
Hong Kong East Cluster Eastern, Wanchai and Islands (apart from North Lantau) areas 825,400
Hong Kong West Cluster Central and Western, and Southern districts of the Hong Kong Island 544,100
Kowloon Central Cluster Yau Ma Tei, Tsim Sha Tsui and Kowloon City districts 503,200
Kowloon East Cluster Kwun Tung, Tseung Kwan O and part of the Sai Kung districts 1,012,000
Kowloon West Cluster Districts of Wong Tai Sin, Mong Kok, Sham Shui Po, Kwai Tsing, Tsuen Wan and North Lantau 1,887,600
New Territories East Cluster Sha Tin, Tai Po, North and part of the Sai Kung districts 1,321,300
New Territories West Cluster Tuen Mun and Yuen Long districts 1,085,300

Corporate governance

Hospital Authority Board

According to the Hospital Authority Ordinance (Cap 113), the Chief Executive of Hong Kong appoints members of the Hospital Authority Board governing the authority. The present board consists of 27 members, including the chairman. Membership of the authority comprises 23 non-public officers, three public officers and the chief executive of the authority. Apart from the chief executive of the authority, other members are not remunerated in the capacity as board members.[3]

Current and former chairmen

Current and former chief executives

Board Committees

To perform its roles and exercise its powers, the board has established 11 functional committees:

Hospital Governing Committees

To enhance community participation and governance of public hospitals, the authority has established 31 Hospital Governing Committees in 38 hospitals and institutions. These committees received regular management reports from the hospital chief executives, monitored operational and financial performance of the hospitals, participated in human resources and procurement functions, as well as hospital and community partnership activities.[3]

Regional Advisory Committees

To provide the authority with advice on the healthcare needs for specific regions of Hong Kong, the authority has established three Regional Advisory Committees. Each of the committees meets four times a year.[3]


The authority is funded primarily by Hong Kong Government subvention, which amounted to HK$42.5 billion for 2012–2013, equating to over 90% of the authority's total income. Its other incomes include hospital and clinic fees and charges, donations, and investment.[3]

The authority's total expenditure was HK$46.1 billion for 2012–2013, with 70% used to pay staff, and 14% to pay for drugs and other supplies.[3]


2008 milk contamination

On the day when a Hong Kong girl was diagnosed as the territory's first victim of the 2008 Chinese milk scandal, anxious parents were frustrated to discover that doctors at the special unit set up at the Princess Margaret Hospital were taking the day off. Deputy Director of Health Gloria Tam said that it was "not something so urgent that it needs to be dealt with in 24 hours... They can go during office hours tomorrow". Medical sector legislator Leung Ka-lau said the lack of daily cover during the crisis was "insensitive".[11] While the first victim left hospital after successful treatment one day later, two more children were admitted to hospital on 22 September; the Hospital Authority was reportedly overwhelmed when over 100 parents demanding check-ups for their children at Princess Margaret amids confusion about referrals and registration procedures, causing Secretary for Food and Health, York Chow to grovel for having underestimated the problem.[12] Chow pledged 18 additional facilities around Hong Kong would be operational the next day.[13]

Waiting times

Waiting time for elective treatment is quite high. The average waiting time for cataract surgery in 2014 was 22 months.[14]

See also


  1. "A General Brief about the Hospital Authority" (PDF). Hong Kong: Hospital Authority. June 2013.
  2. "Resources allocation among hospital clusters by the Hospital Authority" (PDF). Hong Kong: Legislative Council. 16 January 2014.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 6 "Hospital Authority Annual Report 2012-2013" (PDF). Hospital Authority.
  4. Wan, Mariana (19 December 1993). "Yeoh to get top post in Hospital Authority". South China Sunday Morning Post. Hong Kong. p. 4.
  5. Hospital Authority Annual Report 2005–2006 (PDF). Hong Kong: Hospital Authority. p. 3.
  6. "Press statement after HA Chairman's interview" (PDF) (Press release). Hong Kong: Hospital Authority. 24 March 2003.
  7. Hospital Authority Annual Report 2005–2006 (PDF). Hong Kong: Hospital Authority. p. 5.
  8. "Minutes of Hospital Authority Board Meeting held on 30 March 2006" (PDF). Hospital Authority. Hong Kong. 3 April 2006.
  9. "Hospital Authority announces resignation of Chief Executive" (PDF) (Press release). Hong Kong: Hospital Authority. 23 July 2010.
  10. "Hospital Authority Announces Appointment of Chief Executive" (Press release). Hong Kong Government. 4 November 2010.
  11. Ng, Kang-chung (22 September 2008). "HK parents frustrated as doctors take day off". South China Morning Post. Hong Kong. p. A5.
  12. Nickkita Lau & Diana Lee, "Fall guys - Sorry", The Standard (23 September 2008)
  13. Lee, Colleen; Chong, Dennis (23 September 2008). "Frustrated parents clamour for help as hospital battles to cope". South China Morning Post. Hong Kong. p. A3.
  14. Britnell, Mark (2015). In Search of the Perfect Health System. London: Palgrave. p. 32. ISBN 978-1-137-49661-4.
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