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2019-02-10 HKT 13:36
About a dozen people with chronic diseases and members of their families demonstrated outside the government's headquarters on Sunday, urging Financial Secretary Paul Chan to boost medical spending in his upcoming budget.
Members of the Patients' Alliance on Healthcare Reform said at least 20 percent of the government's recurrent expenditure should be allocated to public health services, up from the current 17.5 percent.
The group's spokesman, Tim Pang, said Hong Kong is spending too little on public health compared to other developed places, and more funds should be injected into the Hospital Authority to ease pressure on public hospitals.
"Every year in the flu season, we can see the Hospital Authority has a lot of pressure to deliver services. We don't think the existing service allocation is enough to handle the situation," Pang said.
"By having more resources, we think the Hospital Authority could do a better job."
The latest figures showed overall occupancy rates at public hospitals still exceeded 100 percent on Saturday, several weeks after wards were first swamped by patients suffering from flu complications.