Needs of Care and Service Gaps in Primary Care for Older Adults in Hong Kong

Tommy K.C. Ng, Yuk Fai Ben Fong, Hilary H.L. Yee

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Long waiting time of inpatient and outpatient services as well as shortage of healthcare manpower and hospital beds are noticeable issues affecting the whole quality of care. Over-reliance on secondary care can lead to a heavy burden on the healthcare system. Older adults are more likely to use acute-centric care because of their financial affordability. In Hong Kong, the charges of accident and emergency service in public hospitals is only HK$180 for residents, and so the patients, particularly the older adults of lower socioeconomic status, would like to utilise this service for all their health problems. To relieve over-reliance of secondary care services, meeting the needs of care for older adults is an essential pathway that identifies the service gaps to facilitate improvement of care delivery. The Hong Kong government is working towards a well-developed primary care to optimise the overall delivery of healthcare service because sufficient preventive service, such as health screening and immunisation, can result in reduced utilisation of secondary care. Thus, a strong primary care is more likely to achieve better population health despite the spending on health needs would increase. Likewise, understanding the healthcare needs and service gap of the older adults can make good use of the healthcare spending to obtain effective and practical overcomes. Furthermore, it is important to ensure healthcare needs of the older adults can be met so as to reach health equity. Besides, affordable and accessible primary care service for older adults is utterly vital for the development of a promising healthcare system in Hong Kong.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAgeing with Dignity in Hong Kong and Asia
Subtitle of host publicationHolistic and Humanistic Care
EditorsVincent Law, Ben Fong
Place of PublicationSingapore
PublisherSpringer Singapore
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)978-981-19-3061-4
ISBN (Print)978-981-19-3060-7
Publication statusPublished - 13 Sept 2022

Publication series

NameQuality of Life in Asia
ISSN (Print)2211-0550
ISSN (Electronic)2211-0569


  • Delivery of healthcare service
  • Needs of care
  • Older adults
  • Primary care


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