Patients will be able to book two to three days in advance, by calling the general out-patient clinics under the authority.
HA director Dr Libby Lee on Sunday told a radio programme that patients would not then have to wait too long to find out whether they are safe to take the jabs, whereas they would usually ask during their follow-up appointments for general medical issues.
To make the assessment “more comprehensive and fair”, she said the service would not be open to everyone for the time being.
“Mainly because the HA patients are followed up in our clinics, and we have medical records for all these patients, so the assessment will be more comprehensive and more objective,” she explained.
She admitted that daily general medical services might be affected “a little bit”, but they would still deploy enough manpower and consultation quotas for the scheme, in order to encourage patients to get vaccinated sooner.
However, she called on patients to leave the quotas to those whose follow-up appointments are not scheduled to take place in the next three months.
“If they are going to have their follow-up in the coming month or two, we highly recommend them to just ask their doctors for assessment during their follow- up time, so [they] do not need to take up the quota for the assessment clinic,” she said.
Meanwhile, a recent poll suggests that half of the elderly population in Hong Kong refuse to receive a Covid vaccine – but some of them would be willing to do so if they’ve been assessed for suitability.
The Elderly Rights League and the Society for Community Organisation interviewed 200 people who live in poverty between March and last month.
Half of them said they won’t get a jab, and another third said they were considering it. Among these people, half of them would get inoculated after a suitability assessment.
The groups urged the government to offer health consultations as part of its improvements to health services for the grassroots.