The government has been urged to rethink the way its District Health Centre scheme is run, after the first such centre, in Kwai Tsing, was found to have failed to achieve most of its targets since opening in 2019.
Auditors found low enrolment rates for its disease prevention classes, along with a 101 percent turnover rate last year. The programme is designed to help shift the focus of the healthcare system from treatment to prevention.
Dr Henry Yeung, a private doctor working with the clinic, said government plans to build such centres in all 18 districts could easily end up being a big waste of money if authorities do not address fundamental problems in how they are run.
“That amount of money can provide the same amount of electronic health vouchers to more than two million people in Hong Kong,” he said, adding that this would be a better use of resources.
Speaking to RTHK’s Hong Kong Today programme, he said many in the medical profession did not support the programme in the first place, because there were no medical doctors leading the centre, and only allied health professionals work there.
Commenting on the high turnover rate, Yeung said that he had spoken to former employees of the centre and found that some left because of too much overtime and the lack of an overtime allowance, leading to low staff morale.