Mr CHAN Kin-por noted that the Administration proposed the construction of additional floor areas to enhance the reprovisioning of the existing medical and health facilities of KTJCHC including the Hospital Authority’s General Out-patient Clinic and the Department of Health’s Maternal & Child Health Centre (“MCHC”) in anticipation of the population growth in Kwun Tong District from 622 200 in 2011 by 7.2% to 666 900 in 2019. Having regard to some observations that a large number of new arrivals tended to reside in Kwun Tong District, Mr CHAN expressed concern on whether the population estimates had taken into account the effect of the recent upsurge in Mainland women giving birth in Hong Kong. He enquired about the basis on which the population projections had been worked out.
Principal Assistant Secretary for Development (Planning & Lands)4 replied that in preparing projections of geographical distribution of population over a ten-year period from 2010 to 2019, the Working Group on Population Distribution Projections of the Planning Department had adopted the Census and Statistics Department’s territorial population projections released in 2010. She admitted that the relevant data showing the changes after 2010 was not available at the time when the projections were worked out.
Mr CHAN Kin-por cautioned that any excessive demand for medical and health services would put the health care system of both Kwun Tong District as well as other parts of Hong Kong under strain. He enquired about the Administration’s plans in the event that the demand for the MCHCs’ services in Kwun Tong District exceeded its designed capacity. Mr Paul TSE and Mr WU Chi-wai stressed the importance for the Administration to take the opportunity of the redeveloping KTTC to increase the capacity of the medical and health facilities in Kwun Tong District to meet long-term demand. Noting that the proposed additional net operational floor area to enhance the reprovisioning of the existing medical and health facilities of KTJCHC was limited to 1 087 square metres only, Mr TSE was concerned whether there would be adequate capacity to cater for the growth of demand in future.
Assistant Director (Health Administration and Planning), Department of Health (“AD(HA&P)/DH”) replied that the Administration had been closely monitoring the utilization of MCHCs. Owing to reduced attendances at MCHCs, the Administration had merged some MCHCs including the Kwun Tong MCHC and the Ngau Tau Kok MCHC in 2005. The Administration later noted that from 2007 to 2011, there was a 17% increase in the number of new child-health cases received by the above combined MCHC in Kwun Tong District. Although such increase was not particularly high compared with the about 25% increase of new child-health cases in the territory during the same period, the Administration decided to take the opportunity of the reprovisioning of KTJCHC to enhance maternal and child health services in Kwun Tong District. If there was a significant increase in the demand for such services in future and additional resources could be secured, the Administration would consider re-opening the Ngau Tau Kok MCHC.