Speech at Panel on Public Service

III. An overview of the civil service establishment, strength, retirement, resignation, age profile and gender profile

Manpower wastage

Members expressed concern about the increasing number of civil servants resigned and the decreasing number of civil service job applicants in recent years. Some members pointed out that the alarming increase in resignation rate in 2021-2022 was an indication of loss of attractiveness of civil service jobs. They enquired whether the Administration had explored the reasons for the resignations in 2021-2022 and whether the number of resignees and resignation rate had continued to surge since April 2022.

The Administration advised that the latest information on the number of resignations in the civil service in 2022-2023 was not yet available and it would provide the information after the meeting. The Administration further advised that the number of resignees did increase in 2021-2022, among which 40% had left during the probationary period due to failure to meet the requirements or work culture. As learnt from the resignees by the departments concerned, the reasons for resignation included medical or family reasons, pursuing further studies and taking up other jobs.

Attracting and retaining talents

Some members were concerned about the effectiveness of the youth internship programmes in encouraging interns to apply for government jobs. The Administration advised that CSB coordinated the youth internship programmes by B/Ds on a yearly basis. Taking the AO internship programme as an example, many interns had chosen to apply for the AO or other grades after internship. As they possessed the relevant internship experience, their chances of getting the offer of appointment were generally higher.

IV. An overview of medical and dental benefits for civil servants, pensioners and eligible persons

Medical benefits

Members enquired how the introduction of the Integrated Care Programme (“ICP”), the Stable Drug Use (“SDU”) pilot programme, and the dedicated specialist outpatient services and imaging services had shortened the waiting time for the services concerned. The Administration advised that due to epidemic, the attendances of ICP and SDU pilot programme were 2 700 and 590 respectively as at September 2022. As regards the imaging services, the waiting time of CSEPs had been shortened by roughly 60 to 70 weeks as compared with that of the general public.

Dental benefits

There was another suggestion that the Administration could make reference to the Elderly Health Care Voucher Scheme to provide dental benefits for CSEPs.

The Administration advised that a pilot scheme had been launched in the past to allow CSEPs to receive dental services from private dentists, but was undesirable. Currently, since the cases with long waiting time were mainly for dental scaling services, the Administration had adopted a more prudent approach by selecting dental scaling as the pilot service. The Administration did not rule out the possibility of extending the scheme to other dental services in future.