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Macau: Macau Health Profile 2012

2012/03/16

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Macau Health Profile 2012

Ministry of Health's mission, vision and objectives

In line with the Government’s policy of building a quality society, a long-term objective of Macao’s health authorities is to enhance the quality of medical and health care, thus safeguarding and improving the public’s health.

The Health Bureau is tasked with coordinating the activities of public and private organizations in the domain of public health and assuring the health of citizens through specialized and primary health care services, as well as disease-prevention and health-promotion activities.


Organization of health services and delivery systems
Medical and health service providers in Macao are classified as either governmental or nongovernmental. The former mainly include government health centres that provide primary health care, as well as the Conde S. Januário Hospital, which provides specialist medical services. Nongovernmental providers include medical entities subsidized by the Government and other institutions, such as Kiang Wu Hospital, the University Hospital, the Workers’ Clinic and Tung Sin Tong Clinic, as well as various private clinics and laboratories.

The departments of Conde S. Januário Hospital include Inpatient, Outpatient, Emergency, Surgery, Intensive Care, Coronary Intensive Care, Burns Service, Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation Medicine, Haemodialysis and Peritoneal Dialysis, Medical Imaging, Laboratory, and Haematological Oncology. The 73 types of service offered by the Outpatient Department include anaesthesiology, cardiology, chest clinic, surgery, plastic and reconstructive surgery, dermatology, stomatology, gynaecology and obstetrics, haematological oncology, physiotherapy and rehabilitation, internal medicine, general medicine, nephrology, neurosurgery, ophthalmology, orthopaedics, otorhinolaryngology, paediatrics, psychiatry and urology.

With regard to the private sector, two nongovernmental hospitals play complementary roles in providing health care services. Founded in 1871, Kiang Wu Hospital has three departments: Emergency, Outpatient and Inpatient. It is a modern general hospital that integrates treatment, prevention, teaching and research. The University Hospital, sharing a close and collaborating relationship with the Macau University of Science and Technology, was established on 25 March 2006. It integrates clinical services, teaching and scientific research, and is Macao’s first hospital dedicated to both Chinese and Western medicine.

To realise the objective of “Health for all”, Macao’s health authorities have established a primary health care network with health centres as the operational units offering all residents easy access to primary health care services in their own neighbourhoods. There are six health centres and two health stations distributed throughout the various districts of Macao. Two of the health centres, the Fai Chi Kei Health Centre and Areia Preta Health Centre also have traditional Chinese medicine clinics. By the end of 2009, the primary health care network had provided services to 530 139 outpatients during that year. Most outpatients had attended the adult health care, child health care and women health care clinics, which accounted for 62.3%, 11.2% and 13.3%, respectively, of total outpatient visits.


Health policy, planning and regulatory framework
“A sound health care system and putting prevention first” is the Government’s policy. In recent years, it has focused particularly on enhancing prevention and control capacity in the areas of emergency rescue response and public health.

The Health Bureau is a public entity, endowed with administrative, financial and patrimonial autonomy, under the supervision of the Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture. The Bureau’s task is to assure the health of citizens, prevent disease, provide health care and rehabilitation services, train professional health workers, supervise and support entities in the health sector, and provide forensic services.


Health care financing
The health system is financed mainly by the Macao Government, which attaches great importance to the resources allocated to medical and health care. In 2008, it spent US$ 271.2 million on related services, up by 10.8% from the US$ 244.7 million in 2007.

The medical services provided by health centres and the Tung Sin Tong Clinic are basically free of charge. All legal residents of Macao, regardless of their ages or occupations, are entitled to free services at health centres and supplementary check-ups at Conde S. Januário Hospital by referral from health centres. Non-residents pay for such services according to rates established by the Health Bureau.
Human resources for health

The shortage of nurses is a continuing obstacle for Macao in enhancing public health care. With an increasingly ageing population, there is a more pressing need to train nursing staff. To address the issue, in 2008 the Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture commissioned the Kiang Wu Nursing College of Macau to conduct a study for development of a ten-year plan for Macao’s community nursing manpower, following the commissioning of the ten-year plan for Macao’s nursing manpower in 2005. The aim was to look into the current state of community nursing manpower and to formulate long-term human resources plans catering to future medical development.

Meanwhile, to attract new recruits and retain existing nursing staff through improved remuneration packages, the Executive Council approved a Bill on the Rank and Grade System for Nurses in 2009. The entry point for nurses was raised from the original 340 points to 430 points on the salary scale, with the salary increases for each rank ranging from 16% to 41%.


Partnerships
The Macao Government has never spared any effort in monitoring food safety, and has constantly strengthened cooperation with neighbouring regions. As early as April 2004, Macao signed the Cooperation Agreement on Inspection and Quarantine and Food Safety with the State General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine. Following the signing of the Framework Agreement on Exchanges Concerning Food Safety between Guangdong and Macao in December 2007, cooperation between the two regions was put into practice. Moreover, Macao has continued to maintain close ties, communications, collaboration and interaction with quarantine departments in Hong Kong (China) and other neighbouring regions. It strives to enhance inspections and quarantine related to food hygiene through various channels.

In 2008, the Macao Government joined with the Hong Kong Hospital Authority and the Hong Kong College of Emergency Medicine to launch training programmes for specialists in emergency medicine, with the aim of improving the technical skills of local medical personnel.

In addition, to continue bilateral cooperation and collaboration in medical services and training with Singapore, Macao signed the Memorandum of Understanding in the Area of Health with the Ministry of Health of Singapore in December 2008; the Memorandum intends to promote deeper collaboration in medical research, closer exchange of medical information and strengthening of training and continuing education for medical personnel.
Challenges to health system strengthening

The health authorities continue to follow their policies and plans to create a favourable environment and conditions for medical consultation and to ensure that Macao residents receive a satisfying and convenient community health care service, hence strengthening public health and improving the quality of life of the population. However, factors such as the increasing population and population ageing, as well as the rising demand for medical services, are serious concerns for the Government of Macao.

Statistics from the Conde de S. Januário Hospital indicate that hospital admissions increased by 37% from 12 910 in 2000 to 17 689 in 2009, while outpatient and emergency consultations rose by 85.3% and 57.1%, respectively. In 2009, the bed occupancy rate stood at 82.9%, with patients staying in hospital for an average of 8.7 days.

In 2008, in response to the demand for medical services, the Macao Government implemented multifaceted improvement measures. The first phase of the extension of the emergency ward in Conde S. Januario Hospital was completed and opened for use in June. The number of observation beds in the emergency ward was doubled, from 12 to 25.

To meet the growing demand for medical consultations in recent years, the Areia Preta Health Centre and Fai Chi Kei Health Centre extended their service hours, with effect from August 2008. The health centre for civil servants was established to provide public officers with basic medical check-ups and medical consultation services.