Health and Wellness

— Anson Leung

Photo of Princess Margaret Hospital in Lai King, retrieved from


1.Definition of Health

World Health Organization (WHO) defines health as a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity

2.Population Trend of Kwai Tsing District

fig 1.1 projected change in population structure in 2018-2028

Kwai Tsing is an aging district. Despite the expected shrink of the Kwai Tsing population (from 514800 in 2018 to 506800 in 2028), the number of elderly (≥65) is projected to increase from 92664 to 136836 in these 10 years, constituting a quarter of the district population.

The number of youth (0-14) will decrease from 56628 to 45612 by 2028 and account for less than one-tenth of the population.

3.Provision of Social Services in Kwai Tsing District


3.1 Public Hospitals and Clinics

fig 1.2 overview of the public hospital services in Kowloon West Cluster of Hospital Authority

Hospital Authority is the major statutory body that provides public medical services in Hong Kong. Its Kowloon West Cluster has 5 hospitals providing more than 4000 beds in total to a population of 14 million in Sham Shui Po, Kwai Tsing, Tsuen Wan and Lantau Island. The cluster has a relatively low bed to population ratio (2.92 beds to 1000 people).

Under the cluster, there are also 6 outpatient clinics in Kwai Tsing district providing primary healthcare to the district population.

According to the planning standards and guidelines, Kwai Tsing currently has a shortage of 348 beds in hospital services and a surplus in outpatient services.

The foreseeable ageing population will continue to aggravate the shortage of public medical services in the district. In the future, more outpatient clinics and hospitals beds may be needed.


3.2 Other Social Services

fig 1.3 overview of primary and secondary schools in the district

(click to enlarge the image)

fig 1.4 overview of library services in the district


However, due to the prevalence of internet and the projected decrease in younger generation, the demand for other social services including libraries and schools may reduce.

4. Two Vulnerable Groups


4.1 Old-aged

fig 1.5  CSSA elderly singleton recipients living alone in accommodations other than institution or hospital in Kwai Tsing, Tsuen Wan and Shum Shui Po

Kwai Tsing is an aging district with its elderly population (≥65) expected to increase from 92664 to 136838 and reach one-forth of the district population by 2028. SInce the mobility of an individual decreases with age, elderly may prone to sedentary lifestyle especially when they are living in an area with low walkability*.

many public housing estates in Kwai Chung are located on the slope and people at the moment have no alternative but to climb long stairs to go to the neighbourhood

Kwai Tsing is also the home for almost 10% of the total number of elders living alone and recieving social security


4.2 Underprivileged

Kwai Tsing is one of the poorest regions in Hong Kong. The district has high poverty rate (23%), high unemployment rate (3.9%), low income ($24700) and poor living condition (indoor and outdoor) which impact the health of the residents.


4.2.1 Poverty

fig 1.6  poverty rate by district council district in 2018, retrieved from


4.2.2 Unemployment

 Kwai TsingHong KongRemarks
Unemployment Rate3.9%2.9%Highest in HK
Weekly Average
Working Hours

50.1% works longer than HK average (42 hours)



4.2.3 Income

 Kwai TsingHong KongRemarks
Median Household Income$24700$287003rd lowest
Median Household Income in TPU 326*$18530$28700 /

* TPU 326 encompasses major public housing estates in Kwai Chung. They includes Tai Wo Hou Estate, Kwai Chung Estate, Kwai Hing Estate, Kwai Shing East Estate, Kwai Shing West Estate and Kwai Fong Estate.


4.2.4 Living Conditions

fig 1.7  resident proximity to traffic pollution in Kwai Chung

Kwai TsingHong KongRemarks
Percentage of population living in Public Rental Housing*73.3%
Median Flat Size (in sq. m.)3540/
Number of Households living major housing estate in the exposure zone of major expressways and traffic roads in Kwai Tsing102340/Major expressways and traffic road of concern are Tsuen Wan Road, Tsing Kwai Highway and Kwai Chung Road
District Open Space19ha/Planning requirement: 52ha
Air Pollution (microgram/m3)

SO2: 8

NO2: 54


Highest in HK

NO2 exceeds WHO level (40)

Illegal Dumping   

TPU 326 encompasses major public housing estates in Kwai Chung. They includes Tai Wo Hou Estate, Kwai Chung Estate, Kwai Hing Estate, Kwai Shing East Estate, Kwai Shing West Estate and Kwai Fong Estate.

fig 1.8  comparison of district open space provision between Kwai Tsing and Shatin

(click to enlarge)

fig 1.9  comparison of annual average NO2 & SO2 levels by district in 2019

5. Opportunities and Constraints


5.1 Building More Accessible Third Space

The old-aged are prone to social isolation and sedentary lifestyle due to reduced mobility, especially in an underprivilleged district where quality open space are scarce. In light of this, there is an oppurtunity to create more accessible third space, where residents can socialise and do sports, and keep themselves physically and socially active. 


5.2 Combating Traffic-related Pollution and Illegal Dumping

The serious air pollution, noise pollution and unhygienic environment are great threats to the health of Kwai Chung residents. There is an opportunity to create a healthier environment by mitigating traffic-related pollution and combating illegal dumping.  


5.3 Providing More Jobs and Vocational Trainings

The underprivileged often experience health inequality. They are more likely to be experiencing health problems than those who are economically better off, but are less able to afford needed care because of their lower incomes. Apart from making health resources more affordable for the poor, there is an opportunity to create more jobs and vocational training to increase social mobility so that they can improve their income for better health.


5.4 Constraints

  • economic significance of the major highways and road
  • competing uses of underused spaces
  • undesirable locations of underused spaces



6. Reference

CAN. (2020). 2020 Yearly Air Quality Review.


Census and Statistics Department. (2016). District Profiles | 2016 Population By-census.


Census and Statistics Department. (2019). Hong Kong Poverty Situation Report 2018.


Education Bureau. (2020). Student Enrolment Statistics, 2019/20 (Kindergartens, Primary and Secondary Schools).


Environmental Protection Department. (2020). Air Quality in Hong Kong 2019 Statistical Summary.


Housing Authority. (2020). Average Number of General Outpatient Clinic Quota for the Preceding 4 weeks (20/09/2020 – 17/10/2020) – Kwai Tsing District.


Legislative Council. (2016). Challenges of Public Libraries in Hong Kong.


Leisure and Cultural Services Department. (2016). Examination of Estimates of Expenditure 2016-17 – Controlling Officer’s Reply (HAB209).


Leisure and Cultural Services Department. (2019). Examination of Estimates of Expenditure 2019-20 – Controlling Officer’s Reply (HAB450).


Planning Department. (2019). Projections of Population Distribution 2019 – 2028.


World Health Organisation. (2019). Constitution. Who.Int.


World Health Organization. (2013). Review of Evidence on Health Aspects of Air Pollution – REVIHAAP Project Technical Report.