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Jockey Club launches PHARM+ Community Medication Service Network to support primary healthcare development

Hong Kong is increasingly challenged by both an ageing population and the growing prevalence of chronic disease. To strengthen primary healthcare at the community level, the Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust has therefore initiated and funded the Jockey Club PHARM+ Community Medication Service Network with an approved donation of over HK$415 million. Community pharmacies have been established in eight districts, providing accessible and affordable community dispensing services, medication management and consulting services. The ultimate goal is to help citizens improve their health through disease prevention and self-management of health conditions.

The project launch ceremony took place today (18 June) in the presence of the HKSAR Government's Permanent Secretary for Health, Thomas Chan, the Club's Executive Director of Charities and Community, Dr Gabriel Leung and Dean of the Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine of The University of Hong Kong, Professor Chak-sing Lau.

At the ceremony, Dr Leung said that just as family doctors are the core of primary healthcare, so pharmacists are critical to its effectiveness. This especially applies to the older adults, particularly those in residential care homes, for whom medication management is vitally important. Therefore, a key aim of the Jockey Club PHARM+ Community Medication Service Network is to upskill healthcare workers, including pharmacists, through collaboration across different sectors. The goal is to find a sustainable way to develop primary healthcare and so truly help patients.

The five-year Jockey Club PHARM+ Community Medication Service Network expands the service scope of community pharmacies and enhances the role of community pharmacists. Community pharmacies operated by eight NGO partners have been established in eight districts to provide accessible and affordable community dispensing services. Additionally, they provide personalised free medication consultation and management service, health advice or referrals to other healthcare resources to support patients with chronic diseases and minor ailments.

The community pharmacies under the project will also collaborate with District Health Centres, and family doctors to establish community-based primary care networks, thereby building the first line of defence in disease management. At the same time, the project promotes inter-professional cooperation to strengthen the primary healthcare service support in the community.

An important part of the project will be capacity building. The University of Hong Kong, one of the project partners, will develop operational guidelines for community pharmacies, build capacity, and evaluate the impact of the project to ensure service quality, efficiency, and consistency. The Chinese University of Hong Kong will also participate in capacity building and deliver a series of public education activities to promote medication literacy and raise public health awareness.

The Club recognised the demand for community pharmacies during the fifth wave of COVID-19 outbreak when it helped NGOs enhance their medication dispensing, medication care and support services. A total of over 30,000 people benefited. Building on the success of the pilot, the Jockey Club PHARM+ Community Medication Service Network has been launched with the aim of enhancing the role of community pharmacies as primary care service providers.

Through cross-sector efforts and the development of a professional service model, it is hoped the project will serve as a reference for government policy development and similar services in the long term. It is expected to serve over 110,000 people and provide training to over 5,400 professionals, including pharmacists, pharmacy students and healthcare service providers. Further details can be found on the project website:

The Club’s support for the Jockey Club PHARM+ Community Medication Service Network, like all its charity donations, is made possible by its unique integrated business model through which racing and wagering generate tax contributions, charity support and employment opportunities for the community.