Hong Kong Med J 2001;7:150-4 | Number 2, June 2001
SEMINAR PAPERS—HEALTH CARE REFORM
The reform of health care funding
Department of Politics and Public Administration, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam Road, Hong Kong
It is argued that the history of health care in Hong Kong has been characterised by the lack of a coherent government policy concerning who should provide, use, and pay for services. This has led to the present fragmented funding and delivery system. Past reforms have been piecemeal and have failed to address fundamental issues. The Harvard Report offered a comprehensive solution, but its insurance-based approach to funding was politically unacceptable. Since funding determines patterns of service delivery, reform in that area is the necessary precondition for any substantive improvement in the quality and quantity of health care. Integrated funding mixes public and private money to overcome compartmentalisation between sectors. Without this, it is doubtful that a primary-led health care system could operate. Whether Government has the political will to implement its current proposals in the face of opposition, and whether these will provide a sufficient foundation for the development of primary-led health care, remains to be seen.
Key words: Health care reform; Health Policy; Hong Kong
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