Report of Review Committee on Mental Health released


Hong Kong (HKSAR) -      The Government today (April 18) released the report of the Review Committee on Mental Health, which has put forward recommendations for the enhancement of the overall mental health services in Hong Kong.

     The Secretary for Food and Health, Dr Ko Wing-man, who is the Chairman of the Review Committee, said, "It is the Government's policy, as stated in our mental health policy statement in the report, to attach great importance to the mental well-being of the public and recognise that mental health goes beyond medical care.

     "The Government adopts an integrated, cross-sectoral and multi-disciplinary approach towards mental health, and it is the Government's policy direction to encourage community support and ambulatory services, coupled with necessary and essential institutionalised services, so as to build a mental-health friendly society, facilitating re-integration into the community."

     The review aims to ensure that Hong Kong's mental health regime can rise up to the challenges of a growing and ageing population. In this regard, the Review Committee has put forward a total of 40 recommendations, including:
 
  1. To develop a long-term strategy for mental health promotion;
  2. To conduct regular studies and encourage development of evidence-based intervention programmes;
  3. To enhance the capacity of multi-disciplinary and primary care professionals in handling mental health cases;
  4. To provide more support to children and adolescents and their families, including strengthening services and manpower as well as support at school;
  5. To enhance mental health services for adults, including enhancement of the Case Management Programme for severe mental illness cases and common mental disorder services;
  6. To strengthen the manpower of Siu Lam Hospital with a view to clearing up the waiting list;
  7. To step up dementia support services for the elderly;
  8. To review the existing "conditional discharge" mechanism under the Mental Health Ordinance and re-visit the applicability of Community Treatment Order when needs arise;
  9. To promote the use of innovative technology to facilitate the delivery of mental health services; and
  10. To set up a standing advisory committee.

     "In the course of the Review, based on the preliminary recommendations of the Review Committee, the Government has already introduced a number of measures to strengthen the provision of mental health services, including the enhancement of services for patients with severe mental illness and common mental disorder, and the launch of two pilot schemes, namely the Student Mental Health Support Scheme and Dementia Community Support Scheme, as well as a three-year territory-wide mental health promotion campaign," Dr Ko said.

     "More funding has been provided to the Hospital Authority (HA), with the mental health budget increased by almost 40 per cent from about $3.4 billion in 2011-12 to about $4.7 billion in 2016-17. The manpower for psychiatric services has also increased by about 15 per cent in the past five years.

An additional recurrent provision of $73 million will be allocated to the HA in 2017-18 for the enhancement of mental health services."

     To monitor the implementation of the recommendations of the Review Committee and to follow up on mental health development in Hong Kong, Dr Ko said the Government will prepare for the setting up of the Advisory Committee on Mental Health in the second quarter this year.

     The Food and Health Bureau (FHB) embarked on a review of the mental health policy and services through the setting up of the Review Committee in May 2013. The Review Committee comprises members with wide representation, including legislative councillors, academics, healthcare professionals, service providers, service users and caregivers, and representatives from the Equal Opportunities Commission, the Hong Kong Council of Social Service and the HA, as well as representatives from relevant government bureaux/departments/organisations.

     The report of the Review Committee has been uploaded to the website of Healthcare Planning and Development Office of the FHB (http://www.hpdo.gov.hk" target="_blank">www.hpdo.gov.hk).



Published on: 2017-04-18

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