Skip to navigation – Site map
Special feature

Healthcare Service in Hong Kong and its Challenges

The Role of Health Professionals within a Social Model of Health
Veronika Schoeb
p. 51-58


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.

Top of page


Bibliographical reference

Veronika Schoeb, « Healthcare Service in Hong Kong and its Challenges », China Perspectives, 2016/4 | 2016, 51-58.

Electronic reference

Veronika Schoeb, « Healthcare Service in Hong Kong and its Challenges », China Perspectives [Online], 2016/4 | 2016, Online since 01 December 2017, connection on 11 August 2020. URL : ; DOI :

Top of page

About the author

Veronika Schoeb

Veronika Schoeb is assistant professor, Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong.The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hung Hom, Kowloon, Hong Kong (

Top of page


© All rights reserved

Top of page
  • Logo CEFC – Centre d’études français sur la Chine contemporaine
  • OpenEdition Journals