Ethnic minorities (EM) constitute 6.4% (aprox. 448,000) of the Hong Kong population. This number is on the rise with an increase of 31.2% between 2001 and 2011. Similar to the Chinese population of HK, the EM aging population is increasing; where the EM population aged 65 and above has increased by 170% between 2000 -2011.
The right to public healthcare is implied in the Basic Law of Hong Kong, where all Hong Kong residents are entitled to equal access to it, regardless of their socioeconomic status, race or religion. Hong Kong’s international legal obligations also require that public services be made available to all as a matter of equal right and opportunity, regardless of language, race or other unreasonable distinctions or limitations.
Although with the laws to protect the right to health for EM in Hong Kong, they struggle to have equal access to healthcare services due to language, cultural and religious barriers in such settings, as well as experience discrimination on the grounds of race, immigration status, and nationality. For instance, the lack of access to materials in a language they can understand deprives ethnic minorities of access to essential information on public healthcare services in Hong Kong and more importantly, their right to receive such services.
Our project aims to promote social equity for EM through empowering them to maintain good health. We act as a facilitator for them through service and advocacy for this marginalized group.
- To empower the EM population using preventive health model through health awareness programs;
- To improve EM health access;
- To improve and utilise context appropriate health resources for EM population especially the elderly population;
- To provide culturally appropriate reproductive health education and resources for EM female population.
Through the following we will achieve the aim:
– Provide language, cultural, and religious-appropriate health information for ethnic minorities as well as educate them on their rights to services.
– Create evidence by engaging universities to further research into the needs of ethnic minority using bottom up theory.
– Advocate to authorities/health providers about equity in healthcare access of EM, based on research to improve policies and system for EM.