Press Release

11 February 1999

MEDILINK is a public service program arranged and organised by Hong Kong Medical Association (with the sponsorship of Hongkong Telecom) aiming to provide medical services information, in particular the availability of medical services during long public holidays, to the citizens of Hong Kong.

The MEDILINK will also be in operation during the Chinese New Year Holiday, 16-18 February 1999. Citizens can dial 90000 222 322 or the HKMA Homepage to gain access to information of medical services during the Holiday.

The program started in 1995 and has served the Hong Kong citizens on numerous occasions. During the long holiday periods, there was on average 14,909 calls made to MEDILINK with a daily average of nearly 4000 calls. The usefulness to and acceptance by the Hong Kong public have been proved by this history. It also shows the need of the Hong Kong public in being able to gain access to more medical services information. Other than this obvious practical use, more medical services information may also allow better integration of public and private medical services.

The MEDILINK program unfortunately is now being used only in a limited scale because of resources implications. It can actually be improved in many ways to provide more and better medical services information to the public at all times.

The telephone number can be changed into one that can be remembered by citizens more easily. It can be used for times other than long public holidays if not for administrative resources limitation. Better technological support will also allow it to be updated more frequently and with much more ease. Better publicity will also allow more citizens to use it. HKMA proposes that the government should support such program which provides public good and noted that the legislator from the Medical Functional Constituency has done the same.

HKMA also noted that many legislators whom it has contacted also indicated their support for the proposal of more government support for such public program.

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