Healthcare service in Hong Kong and its Challenges: The role of health professionals within a social model of health

Veronika Schoeb Mezzanotte Amat

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

58 Citations (Scopus)


The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region combines a British colonial history within a Chinese cultural context and offers its population a dual system with a comprehensive and efficient public health care system in tandem with private hospitals and practitioners. Multiple challenges are looming: increasing demand for health services due to an aging population, staff shortages at all levels, and an underdeveloped primary healthcare system. Health is determined by multiple factors and is defined as a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being. In recent years, the medical model of health focusing on pathology and disease has been considered insufficient, and a social model of health has been proposed, relying on a more holistic and broad definition of health. Rather than focusing on individual responsibility for health, the social model emphasises collective responsibility for health. This paper analyses the challenges facing Hong Kong in view of the social model of health. The discussion provides some reflections on medical dominance, the reasons behind limited primary care services, and what steps could be recommended to deliver healthcare services in Hong Kong in line with a more holistic view of health.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)51-58
Number of pages8
JournalChina Perspectives
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2016


  • Access
  • Health professionals
  • Healthcare delivery
  • Healthcare system
  • Hong Kong
  • Social determinants of health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)


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