Healthy ageing in Hong Kong

While Hong Kong’s health system has been ranked as the most efficient in the world, it is coming under increasing strain as the population ages.

Based on a series of interviews conducted with key stakeholders in Hong Kong during March 2019 and desk research, this briefing explores the relationship between Hong Kong’s health system and the needs of its ageing population, with a particular focus on a preventative approach to healthcare.

Hong Kong’s healthcare system currently focusses on curative care and lacks sufficient public primary care services to meet the needs of its ageing population. Under-investment in public primary care has resulted in inadequate community services – Hong Kong has only 73 public general outpatient clinics providing primary care to its population of nearly 7.5 million people. Whilst government-funded schemes have been launched, uptake rates are low, and there is a lack of data on how individuals act to protect their health.

The briefing sets out a number of recommendations for how Hong Kong can build upon its strengths by:

  • Developing a comprehensive healthy ageing strategy;
  • Reviewing the role of the voluntary and community sector in supporting healthy ageing;
  • Encouraging the role of community pharmacy as a site for preventative healthcare interventions;
  • Focussing health education on adult children;
  • Encouraging the creation of older people’s ambassadors for preventative healthcare; and
  • Evaluating the impact of its preventative health initiatives and to use data to help maximise the impact of preventative healthcare.

Financial support for the development of this briefing was provided as a Charitable Donation by Pfizer.