How are health services accessed? | Hong Kong SAR How are health services accessed? | Hong Kong SAR

16 Aug 2022

Every resident in Hong Kong can access primary care services directly by walking-in or making a telephone appointment. Private practitioners are distributed over nearly every community for convenient access. The Government has established the Primary Care Directory which is a web-based electronic database containing contact details, practice information, and professional qualifications of primary care providers in Hong Kong. This facilitates the public to search for suitable family doctors, dentists, and Chinese medicine practitioners in the community (Food and Health Bureau, 2019c). For public healthcare, since the general outpatient clinics are usually overloaded by older adults and persons with chronic illness who need regular follow-up, citizens who cannot afford private doctor consultations or insist in using public primary care have to walk in and queue up for a daily quota early in the morning or they can make a telephone booking for an appointment in the next 24 hours. The Telephone Appointment System of public general outpatient clinics operates 24 hours a day. In 2016, the Government introduced the Electronic Health Record Sharing System (eHRSS), a territory-wide, patient-oriented electronic sharing platform, for both authorised public and private health practitioners to access and share participating patients’ health records to enable more timely diagnosis and treatment, and reduce duplicate diagnostic tests (HKSAR Government, 2019, October). For emergency services, the public ambulance service 999 is free for anyone in Hong Kong. For access to secondary and tertiary care, either public or private, referral from a general practitioner is necessary.


Food and Health Bureau. (2019c, October 1). Primary Care Directory. Retrieved from https://www.pcdirectory.gov.hk/english/welcome/welcome.html

HKSAR Government. (2019, October). Electronic Health Record Sharing System. Retrieved from https://www.gov.hk/en/residents/health/hosp/eHRSS.htm