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Trend of public hospital utilisation in Hong Kong

There are 14 major public hospitals in Hong Kong. For a hospital, the occupancy rate normally indicates the utilisation of inpatient service in a given time period, while inpatient discharges/deaths reflects the actual caseload. Such information is mainly used for health planning purposes.

These maps show the inpatient discharges/deaths and inpatient occupancy rate for major hospitals in Hong Kong from 1997- 2007. Data were obtained from Hospital Authority, Hong Kong. Defined class intervals used for inpatient occupancy rate are in graduated colour (rainbow colour). The inpatient discharges/deaths are in graduated symbols (light blue circle), the size of which being proportion to the rate.

Throughout the ten-year period, the inpatient discharges/deaths and occupancy rate of most public hospital have remained relatively stable. There was however wide variation between hospitals. Two new hospitals, namely, Northern District Hospital (NDH) and Tseung Kwan O Hospital (TKOH) began operation only in the last decade. The initial discharges/ deaths, and occupancy rate were relatively low in these newly-open hospitals but have gradually increased subsequently. It is noted that a high occupancy rate does not necessarily mean high discharges/ deaths.