Patients remained in hospital after being diagnosed to be clinically fit to be discharged

11/05/2016

 

Following is a question by the Professor Hon Joseph Lee and a written reply by the Secretary for Food and Health, Dr Ko Wing-man, in the Legislative Council today (May 11):

Question:

     Will the Government inform this Council whether it knows:

(1) the respective annual numbers of public hospital patients in 2014 and 2015 who remained in hospital for three months or more after being diagnosed to be clinically fit to be discharged, and set out in the table in Annex a breakdown by the age and condition of such patients;

(2) a breakdown of the number of patients mentioned in (1) by reason for overstaying in hospitals; among these patients, the number of those who still remain in hospital at present, with a breakdown by the year in which they were diagnosed to be clinically fit to be discharged; and

(3) the measures currently adopted by the Hospital Authority or relevant government departments to assist patients overstaying in public hospitals to be discharged as soon as possible, and the expenditure so incurred in the past two years; among the patients mentioned in (1), the number of those who, with the assistance provided under such measures, have already been discharged or have committed to a definite discharge date so far?

Reply:

President,

     The following is my consolidated reply to the various parts of the question raised by the Professor Hon Joseph Lee relating to the cases where patients remained in hospital after being diagnosed to be clinically fit to be discharged.

     There are many reasons for patients to remain in public hospitals even after being diagnosed to be clinically fit to be discharged.  The Hospital Authority (HA) does not maintain statistical record on these patients by age, category, reason for remaining in hospital and the year in which they were diagnosed to be clinically fit to be discharged.  In order to facilitate the effective handling of the cases of these patients by the hospitals, the HA has put in place a set of guidelines on the procedures and points to note in handling such cases.  The hospitals will maintain good communication with the relevant parties, and review and follow up on the cases in a regular manner.

     In handling such cases, the hospital concerned will set up working groups where necessary to follow up on individual cases.  Members of the working group for each case include representatives from the hospital management, healthcare professionals, social workers, Patient Relations Officers and representatives from other government departments which may provide assistance.  To cater for the patient's needs, family members of the patient will also be invited to attend meetings of the working group so that a discharge date and appropriate discharge arrangements can be discussed and determined.  The hospitals will review and follow up on the progress of these cases closely to help the patients in their discharge from hospitals as soon as possible.

     Since the cost of the above measures is covered by the day-to-day operating expenditure of the hospitals, the HA does not have the information on the expenditure for the relevant measures for the past two years.  Neither does the HA have the statistics on patients who, after receiving assistance through the above measures, have been discharged or have committed to a definite discharge date.

 

 
Last Updated 2016-05-11