It is my honor to take up the chairmanship of the Association since 2018. The Association was established in 2000 under the superb leadership of the late Sir Harry Fang, then Medical Superintendent of St. Paul's Hospital. That was a time of difficulty in the private sector after the Asian Economic Crisis and following a period of rapid expansion in the public sector. All the twelve private hospitals got their acts together and engaged the Trent Accreditation Scheme from the United Kingdom to conduct visits and give recommendations for improvement. Thus, began the history of hospital accreditation in Hong Kong.

In 2008, the Association participated in the government's Steering Committee on Hospital Accreditation, which chose the Australian Council on Healthcare Standards (ACHS) as the common scheme for both private and public hospitals. Despite the subsequent withdrawal of the Hospital Authority from ACHS accreditation, private hospitals continued to commit ourselves to the scheme, for continuous improvement in service quality and organizational management. Meanwhile, two hospitals switched to the Joint Commission International (JCI) scheme to achieve the same.

In the Hong Kong setting, visiting doctors comprise the majority of medical workforce for private hospitals. One important role of hospital management is to ensure that medical procedures are carried out only by properly qualified healthcare professionals with the requisite training and experience through robust systems of Credentialing. The Association has issued a Code of Practice for Doctors to promote good clinical practice, as well as developed comprehensive Clinical Governance systems to ensure a high standard of care.

Over the years, the Association has played active roles in advising the Government on policy formulation. Notable examples in recent years include the Regulation of Private Healthcare Facilities Ordinance (Cap 633) and its associated Codes of Practice, the Electronic Health Record project, the Voluntary Health Insurance Scheme, pilot program on Price Transparency, combating Antimicrobial Resistance, Healthcare Manpower planning, and the Primary Healthcare Blueprint.

Through various Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) projects, members hospitals have contributed significantly to alleviate the heavy workload of public hospitals, offering their patients a choice and often at heavily discounted rates. During the peak of the COVID-19 epidemic, member hospitals collectively pledged 1,000 beds to support the over-burdened Hospital Authority through special PPP projects, in addition to active participation in Community Vaccination Centres and Community Isolation Centres.

Throughout the last 23 years, HKPHA has gone from strength to strength with addition of new hospitals, major redevelopment of many existing hospitals, acquisition of latest technology and knowhow, and continuous improvement in hospital management to deliver the highest standard of private healthcare. All these would not have been possible without the illustrious leadership of previous Chairmen and office bearers, as well as the united spirit of member hospitals. Faced with the challenge of an ageing population and ever-changing healthcare scene, we will pledge our utmost to improve the quality, efficiency and effectiveness of services in partnership with the public sector and the community.

Dr. William Ho


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