Provision of Infirmary Service through Public-Private Partnership (Infirmary Service PPP)
HA collaborates with Po Leung Kuk through contracting to operate infirmary services at Wong Chuk Hang Hospital with a maximum capacity of 64 beds.
The Chinese version of these Frequently Asked Questions is for reference only. In case of ambiguity or conflict between the Chinese and the English versions, the English version shall prevail.

Updated as at 15 July 2017
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Patient

About the programme

Fee arrangement

Eligibility & enrollment methods

Follow-up arrangement

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  1. What is Infirmary Service PPP?
    To pilot a public‐private partnership model for the provision of infirmary services, the Hospital Authority (HA) has contracted with Po Leung Kuk, a non‐governmental organization (NGO), to operate a total of 64 infirmary beds in premises provided by HA at Wong Chuk Hang Hospital and to provide infirmary care services there for eligible applicants on the Central Infirmary Waiting List of HA general infirmary service (CIWL).
  2. Why there is an Infirmary Service PPP programme and what are the benefits to applicant?
    With ageing of the Hong Kong population, an increasing need for long term care services is expected. The Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Government (HKG) announced in his 2013 Policy Address that the HA would explore other modes of co‐operation with the private sector in order to strengthen the infirmary care services for public hospital patients.

    Currently, HA has been providing General Infirmary Services in hospital settings. However, as stated in previous Legislative Council Paper on Provision of Infirmary Care for Elders in a Non‐hospital Setting, it is not absolutely necessary that infirmary care must be provided in a hospital setting. For infirm applicants who are medically unstable, hospital‐based infirmary service will provide them with better care and life quality as they do not have to go through the repeated deterioration and readmission process. For those who are medically stable, hospitals may not be the most ideal places for them to receive care. Infirmary care outside hospitals will provide them with more homely and socialized environment without compromising the quality of care.

    In line with the Government’s policy direction and the benefits of developing a social infirmary service in the longer term, HA collaborates with a non‐governmental organization (NGO), Po Leung Kuk, to enhance the choices of infirmary care services for applicants on CIWL managed by HA.
  3. When will Infirmary Service PPP start?
    Po Leung Kuk plans to start admission of eligible applicants in around September 2016 for 32 infirmary beds at the service unit located in Wong Chuk Hang Hospital (PPP Service Unit) and to commence full operation in around December 2016 for a total of 64 infirmary beds at the PPP Service Unit for infirmary care service.
  4. Which NGO will provide infirmary care services under the Infirmary Service PPP?
    Po Leung Kuk
  5. For whom do the HA General Infirmary Service and the Infirmary Service PPP cater for?
    HA General Infirmary Service is positioned to cater for elders or disabled persons whose health conditions require long term medical care in hospital setting that are beyond the level of care provided by the welfare sector. The Infirmary Service PPP is positioned to cater for persons who require infirmary care services but are medically more stable. For them, hospital may not be the most ideal place to receive care. Instead, infirmary care in a social setting can provide them with more homely and socialized environment without compromising the quality of care.
  6. Who will be invited to participate in the Programme?

    HA will invite applicants on CIWL according to their registration dates on a first‐registered‐first‐call basis. Applicants under “priority application” on CIWL will not be invited as these applicants would require frequent admissions and significant clinical care in hospital setting. HA will invite applicants on CIWL via Responsible Officers* (RO) to join the programme on the terms set out in the invitation letter and the attachments to that letter. Applicants on CIWL do not need to apply by themselves.

    An invited applicant who (or his/her relative or legal guardian) agrees to choose the Infirmary Service PPP will be reassessed by the HA Community Geriatric Assessment Team (CGAT) for the applicant’s eligibility to join the Programme based on pre‐defined criteria.

    *Responsible Officer includes Social Worker/ Healthcare Professional of ‘Referring Office’. As stipulated in the SWD’s “Manual of Procedures on Registration and Allocation of Long Term Care Services (2006)”, the “Referring Offices” refers to:

    1. Integrated Family Service Centres (IFSCs)/Integrated Services Centres (ISCs);
    2. Medical Social Services Units (MSSUs);
    3. District Elderly Community Centres (DECCs);
    4. Neighbourhood Elderly Centres (NECs)/Social Centres for the Elderly (S/Es);
    5. Others service units e.g. Family and Child Protective Service Units (FCPSU), Counseling Units, Integrated Services Teams for Street Sleepers, etc. 
  7. For applicants with regular follow‐ups in HA, will it be affected after joining the Programme?
    The Service Users of Infirmary Service PPP (i.e. eligible applicants who have been admitted to the PPP Service Unit to receive infirmary care services under the Infirmary Service PPP) will continue to have access to public healthcare facilities as required, so as to receive treatment at HA including follow‐up treatments, medications and medical investigations in the outpatient clinics of HA, the accident and emergency service and inpatient service as required.
  8. Can I withdraw from the Infirmary Service PPP?
    If an invited applicant on CIWL would like to withdraw from the Infirmary Service PPP before he/she is admitted to the PPP Service Unit as a Service User, the applicant and/or his/her relative or legal guardian should notify RO who will notify HA on behalf of the applicant. Under this circumstance, the applicant will remain on CIWL for placement in the HA infirmary units.

    For withdrawal after admission to the Service Unit, please refer to question (9) below.

    After withdrawal, the applicant could request to rejoin the Infirmary Service PPP again after two years from the date of withdrawal. It will be subject to CGAT reassessment on eligibility of the applicant and HA will also take into consideration of vacant bed situation in the PPP Service Unit at that time.
  9. What if a Service User has accepted the placement under the Programme and has already been admitted to the Service Unit but requests to be listed again on CIWL for a placement in HA infirmary units?

    When the applicant is admitted to the Infirmary Service PPP Service Unit, his/ her name will be delisted from the CIWL.

    However, taking into consideration that the Infirmary Service PPP is a new service model and invited applicants had been waitlisting on CIWL for years, a Service User who has been admitted to the PPP Service Unit may raise a request through the RO to be listed again on CIWL for placement in the HA infirmary units provided that:

    ● he/she may exceptionally be placed back on CIWL based on his/her last registration date on CIWL (i.e. backdating arrangement) if his/her request for listing again on CIWL is raised within 6 months from his/her admission to the Service Unit; and

    ● there will be no exceptional backdating arrangement to place him/her on CIWL based on his/her last registration date on CIWL if his/her request for listing again on CIWL is raised on or after 6 months from his/her admission to the PPP Service Unit. His/her new registration date will be the receipt date of HA of the relevant request of Service User (i.e. the date of receipt by the office of HA CIWL of the request of Service User submitted by RO).

    Nevertheless, the Service User who has made such request would be allowed to stay at the PPP Service Unit until a placement in the HA infirmary unit is offered to him/her (subject to health conditions of the Service User).

  10. What if the health conditions of the Service User after admission to the Service Unit deteriorate?
    If after admission to the PPP Service Unit the health conditions of a Service User deteriorate and to an extent that he/she is considered by HA’s medical specialist as no longer satisfy the eligibility criteria for referral as described in the Programme Information Sheet  recommendation would be made by the HA’s medical specialist support, in consultation with Po Leung Kuk’s attending doctor, for transferring the Service User to an appropriate setting in HA for continuity of care based on his/her medical and clinical needs, and appropriate arrangement would be made if clinically indicated.
  11. What if the Programme terminates?
    The Infirmary Service PPP will be implemented on a pilot basis for three years and possible extension by two years subject to evaluation. If the contract between HA and Po Leung Kuk for the provision of infirmary care services by Po Leung Kuk under the Infirmary Services PPP expires or otherwise terminated, Po Leung Kuk will allow reasonable transitional time and coordinate with HA for arranging alternative placement to the Service Users, so as to have a smooth and efficient transition of services to the Service Users.
  12. What are the differences between PPP Service Unit and HA CI Unit?

    Below is a comparison between PPP Service Unit and HA CI Unit:

      PPP Service Unit HA CI Unit
    Medical care

    ● On‐site consultation and telephone support provided by Po Leung Kuk attending doctor

    ● Medical specialist support provided by HA doctor for Service Users on outreach basis and as necessary

    Medical care support provided by HA as inpatient
    Nursing care 24 hours nursing care provided by Po Leung Kuk nurses 24 hours nursing care provided by HA nurses
    Additional services Additional services will be provided by Po Leung Kuk to Service Users in need. Details will be provided by Po Leung Kuk. Nil
    Environmental setting More homely and socialized environment Hospital setting
    Visiting hours Daily, 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Hospital visiting hours
    Withdraw mechanism after admission

    Service User can request being listed again on CIWL

    ● Request raised within 6 months from admission, have backdate arrangement

    ● Request raised on or after 6 months from admission, no backdate arrangement

    Service User can wait at PPP Service Unit for offer of placement in HA CI Unit when bed in HA CI Unit is available (subject to health conditions of the Service User)

    Applicant admitted to HA CI Unit is not allowed to be listed again on CIWL for another placement in HA CI Unit
  13. What will be the service fees of Infirmary Service PPP and will formula milk be included?
    Under the Infirmary Service PPP, Service Users are required to pay Po Leung Kuk the same gazette fees and charges with HA General Infirmary Service. Service Users who are eligible for a waiver under the criteria set out in HA’s website relating to the Programme (http://www.ha.org.hk/ppp/infirmppp) (as amended from time to time at HA’s sole discretion) can enjoy the same fee waiver arrangements as for the HA’s services when he/she participates in the Programme. Po Leung Kuk should provide at least 3 meals a day or appropriate formula milk to the Service Users.