Background

The Chief Executive's 2017 Policy Address (Paragraphs 157 - 159)

As a matter of fact, a comprehensive and co‑ordinated primary healthcare system will enhance overall public health, reduce hospital re‑admission and rectify the situation where accident and emergency service is regarded as the first point of contact in seeking medical consultation. The Government is determined to step up efforts to promote individual and community involvement, enhance co‑ordination among various medical and social sectors, and strengthen district‑level primary healthcare services. Through these measures, we aim to encourage the public to take precautionary measures against diseases, enhance their capability in self‑care and home care, and reduce the demand for hospitalisation.

We will set up a steering committee on primary healthcare development to comprehensively review the existing planning of primary healthcare services and draw up a development blueprint. The Committee, comprising healthcare professionals, academics, non‑governmental organisations and community partners, is tasked to advise on the Government’s strategy on the development of primary healthcare services. Its work will include drawing up a model for district‑based medical‑social collaboration, using big data to identify the areas of medical care services requiring in‑depth study, establishing a framework to implement measures on disease prevention in a more systematic manner (e.g. vaccination), disease screening and identification (especially chronic diseases such as stroke) and strengthening scientifically proven service provision and policy‑led development work.

To further illustrate the effectiveness of medical‑social collaboration, I have asked the Food and Health Bureau to set up a district health centre with a brand new operation mode in Kwai Tsing District within two years. The Government will provide funding for the centre according to the needs and characteristics of the district, with a view to enhancing public awareness of disease prevention and their capability in self‑management of health through public‑private partnership, providing support for the chronically ill as well as relieving the pressure on specialist and hospital services. The planned district health centre will make use of the local network to procure services from organisations and healthcare personnel serving the district so that the public can receive necessary care in the community. Kwai Tsing District Council made use of the $100 million provided by the Government in 2013 for district‑based signature projects to launch a number of healthcare services in collaboration with local associations and non‑profit‑making organisations, and has built a solid foundation for the further extension of district‑based primary healthcare services. With the experience gained from the pilot scheme, we will progressively set up district health centres in other districts.

The Chief Executive's 2018 Policy Address (Paragraphs 176 - 178)

To effectively change the current focus of our healthcare services on treatment and to alleviate the pressure on public hospitals, we are committed to enhancing district-based primary healthcare services. The Food and Health Bureau (FHB) is now setting up the first DHC in Kwai Tsing District as proposed in my Policy Address last year. Operating through district-based medical-social collaboration and public-private partnership, the DHC will provide services in health promotion, health assessment, chronic disease management, community rehabilitation, etc.

We envisage that the DHC will be a service hub with a Core Centre serving as the headquarters and complemented by five Satellite Centres in sub-districts at convenient locations. Enabled by information technology infrastructure, the DHC will form a service network manned by medical and healthcare practitioners in the district. The DHC will strive to better co-ordinate with other district-based primary healthcare services and facilities, making it more convenient to meet individual healthcare needs of the community. We have selected the site for the Core Centre of the Kwai Tsing DHC and invited tenders for the operating right, with a view to commissioning the DHC around the third quarter of 2019.

The Government will allocate substantial resources to subsidise the operation of the DHC at around $100 million a year. Members of the public will have to bear part of the costs of the services so as to encourage them to manage their own health. We will proactively take forward the setting up of DHCs in other districts, with the Kwai Tsing DHC as the blueprint. To ensure service stability, we will reserve premises for DHCs within Government properties in various districts, and have already identified suitable locations in Kwun Tong and the Eastern District. We will, however, first rent suitable premises for DHCs in various districts to enable early service delivery.

Scope of Service

Health Promotion
  • Healthy Diet
  • Physical Activity
  • Weight Management
  • Fall Prevention
  • Smoking Cessation
  • Alcohol Consumption
  • Sleep Hygiene
  • Mental Well-being
Health Assessment
  • Health Risk Factors Assessment
  • Screening for Diabetes Mellitus/Hypertension
Chronic Disease Management
  • Diabetes Mellitus
  • Hypertension
  • Musculoskeletal Disorder (Low back pain or Degenerative knee pain)
Community Rehabilitation
  • Hip Fracture
  • Post-Acute Myocardial Infarction
  • Stroke

Who can register as a DHC member?

    An individual who
  • Is a holder of the Hong Kong Identity Card issued under the Registration of Persons Ordinance (Cap. 177, the Laws of Hong Kong), except those who obtained their Hong Kong Identity Cards by virtue of a previous permission to land or remain in Hong Kong granted to him and such permission has expired or ceased to be valid; or a child who is a Hong Kong resident and under 11 years of age;
  • Agrees to enrol to eHRSS; and
  • Is a resident in the district of the corresponding DHC.

To register for eHRSS, press the following icon:

How can I enrol in DHC services?

Self-initiated (Walk-in)
With referral

Client Journey

Client Journey

District Health Centres (DHC)

FAQ

General Information
Q1: What is District Health Centre (DHC)?
A1: The DHC is a primary healthcare initiative of the Government. Through public-private partnership, medical-social collaboration, it provides district-based primary healthcare services aiming to:
  • enhance public awareness of disease prevention and their capability in self-management of health;
  • drive healthy lifestyle for prevention of chronic disease;
  • support the chronically ill to prevent deterioration; and
  • enhance client access to primary healthcare services.
Q2: How many centres are there for each DHC?
A2: Each DHC consists of a core centre and a few satellite centres, being the healthcare service and resource hub of the district.
Q3: What are the functions of the core and satellite centres?
A3: The core centre will offer primary healthcare services through individual service sessions and group intervention. It will provide primary, secondary and tertiary prevention programmes. The satellite centres will offer primary prevention programmes and other group activities.
Q4: When and where will the DHC Scheme be implemented?
A4: The first DHC will be launched in Kwai Tsing District and it will start operation in September 2019. The DHC scheme will be rolled out to other districts progressively.
Q5: Who will operate the DHC?
A5: The government will identify a non-governmental organization through open tender.
Q6: Which of the healthcare professionals will provide service at the core and satellite centres?
A6: The core team of the DHC consists of nurses, a physiotherapist, an occupational therapist, a dietitian, a pharmacist as well as social workers.
Q7: Are DHC services available at the core and satellite centres only?
A7: Apart from the services provided within the core and satellite centres, the DHC Operator has to purchase private healthcare services from the district and this forms the DHC network. The network services include medical consultation, Chinese medicine consultation, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, dietetics, optometry, podiatry and speech therapy.
Eligibility
Q1: Who are the target clients of the Scheme?
A1: Residents in the district of the corresponding DHC.
Q2: Who is eligible to receive DHC service?
A2: An individual who
  • is a holder of the Hong Kong Identity Card issued under the Registration of Persons Ordinance (Cap. 177, the Laws of Hong Kong), except those who obtained their Hong Kong Identity Cards by virtue of a previous permission to land or remain in Hong Kong granted to him and such permission has expired or ceased to be valid; or a child who is a Hong Kong resident and under 11 years of age; and
  • agrees to enrol in the electronic Health Record Sharing System (eHRSS); and
  • is a resident in the district of the corresponding DHC.
Q3: What documents shall a person present when he registers in the DHC Scheme?
A3: He should present the identity document and residential address proof.
Service Package and Fee
Q1: Is there any registration or membership fee for DHC?
A1: Registration and membership are free. The membership is lifelong.
Q2: What services are included in the DHC Scheme?
A2: The Scheme includes primary, secondary and tertiary prevention programmes. Primary prevention programmes consist of health promotion and disease prevention activities. Secondary prevention includes screening for diabetes mellitus and hypertension in targeted group of clients. Tertiary prevention programmes cover chronic disease management and community rehabilitation.
Q3: Who will be referred to the DHC Network Medical Practitioners?
A3: Clients who have risk factors identified through the screening for diabetes mellitus or hypertension under the DHC scheme will be referred to the DHC Network Medical Practitioners.
Q4: Does the client have to pay for DHC services?
A4: All of the group activities are free, as well as the individual healthcare services provided by nurse, pharmacist and social worker at the DHC. Individual healthcare services including medical consultation, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, dietetics, optometry, speech therapy, podiatry, Chinese medicine services and medical laboratory services require co-payment by the DHC client.
Q5: Are civil servants or Hospital Authority staff exempted from co-payment for DHC services?
A5: Civil servants and Hospital Authority staff have to make the co-payment for DHC services.
Q6: Is there any limit on the number of subsidised healthcare service sessions?
A6: Yes, healthcare service sessions are provided based on clinical needs, and the maximum number of sessions for different DHC programmes has been set.
Q7: If all the subsidised sessions are consumed and extra service sessions are needed, will one get any subsidy for the subsequent sessions?
A7: Beyond the maximum number of subsidised sessions, the client has to pay the fees charged by the Network Service Provider.
Q8: Does a client need to pay extra fees if he / she visits his / her Network Service Provider for services not covered in the DHC scheme?
A8: Under the Scheme, the DHC client can receive subsidised healthcare professional services for the targeted diseases within the scope as specified. Individual clients may receive additional service(s) or treatment at their own expenses.
Q9: Is there any subsidy for medication for chronic disease management under the Scheme?
A9: Government subsidy for the chronic disease management programme includes medical consultation, medical laboratory services, Chinese medicine and individual allied health service sessions, but not medication.
Q10: Where can a DHC client receive medical laboratory services under the Scheme?
A10: Upon referral by Network Medical Practitioners, the client can receive medical laboratory services as arranged by the DHC Operator.
Q11: What are the Service charges of the DHC?
A11: For the Kwai Tsing DHC, the medical consultation fee of $250 is subsidised by the government and any extra amount will be paid by the client. For other individual healthcare service sessions including physiotherapy, occupational therapy, dietetics, optometry, speech therapy, podiatry and medical laboratory services, the co-payment by the client is capped at $150. The co-payment by clients referred by the Hospital Authority for community rehabilitation programme is capped at $100. The co-payment for Chinese medicine services is capped at $150.
Q12: Can elders who have participated in the Elderly Health Care Voucher Scheme use the vouchers for DHC services?
A12: Clients who have participated in the Elderly Health Care Voucher Scheme can pay for DHC services from their Health Care Voucher accounts.
Q13: Is referral required for DHC services?
A13: Individual allied health services require medical referral from the DHC Network Medical Practitioner. Self-referral will be accepted for Chinese medicine services.
Q14: Can I withdraw from the DHC scheme?
A14: Registration with the DHC Scheme is entirely voluntary. Clients who wish to withdraw from the scheme can inform the DHC operator.
Q15: Can I register as a DHC member again after I have withdrawn from the DHC Scheme?
A15: Yes. Eligible clients are welcome to register as DHC member any time.
Sharing of Information through eHRSS
Q1: Can the Network Service Providers access a DHC client’s medical record in the eHRSS?
A1: To facilitate continuity of care, all DHC clients and Network Service Providers are required to enrol in the eHRSS. With prior consent from the client, clinical information will be shared with the service providers through the eHRSS, on a need-to-know basis.
Q2: If a DHC client terminates participation in the eHRSS, is he still eligible to join the DHC Scheme?
A2: All DHC members must enrol in the eHRSS. The DHC will not be able to provide a coordinated service effectively to the client who withdraws from the eHRSS. The client will have to terminate his / her membership of the DHC Scheme.