Message from the President, Prof. Raymond Liang, April 2012
In this year (2012) we are due for a change. We are going to have a new Chief Executive for Hong Kong SAR in July. There are great expectations about what he and his new cabinet will deliver. We all hope they continue to build on the foundation that we already have and make changes for the better.
We have a lot to be proud of with our health care system, but there is definitely room for improvement. While we are asking whether we have enough doctors and nurses in our system, the present Government is currently looking seriously into the issue of medical manpower. This issue will definitely also be of importance to the next Government. We know very well that it is not just quantity that matters. Quality must be maintained at all costs.
Mainland mothers have almost doubled our birth rate and posed a challenge to our health care system, and been a cause of great public concern. Looking into the future, a much greater challenge is yet to come. The Hong Kong population is rapidly ageing. In the decades to come, the number of Hong Kong people aged more than 60 years is expected to double and then triple. The consequential demand for health care services will rapidly increase, exerting further pressure on our already very stretched services.
We must face this challenge with a coordinated effort. For many years, we have had endless discussions on the issue of health care financing; it is now time for action. While we are making an effort to increase our capacity to train more medical, nursing and other paramedical professionals, we also need to meet the demand for increasing hardware, such as hospitals and clinic space, medical equipment, expensive drugs, and so forth. We know very well that it takes over ten years to train medical specialists and nearly the same amount of time to build a new hospital. Our new Government must act quickly and decisively.
Professor Raymond Liang