The Health Bureau of the Government is responsible for co-ordinating the health-related activities of public and private institutions, and protecting public health through primary and specialist healthcare services, disease prevention measures and hygiene promotion.
The Government devotes considerable resources to medical and healthcare to optimise medical services and various healthcare facilities. The SAR Government assumes great responsibility for public heath, thus Macao residents can enjoy a comprehensive coverage of medical benefits. All legal residents of Macao are entitled to free services at the Health Centres and supplementary check-ups at Conde S. Januario Hospital by referral from the Health Centres.
Services provided by the Conde S. Januario Hospital are chargeable except for people specified by the Government, but Macao residents may enjoy a waiver of 30 per cent of the charges. Conde S. Januario Hospital also provides assistance to Macao residents who have financial difficulties.
Additionally, there are medical entities subsidised by the Government and other institutions such as the Kiang Wu Hospital, the Workers’ Clinic and Tung Sin Tong Clinics, as well as various private clinics and laboratories.
Public Healthcare Services
Specialist Medical Services
Conde S. Januario Hospital is a modern medical institution with advanced and comprehensive facilities, which has received international accreditation for its management. There are 27 specialties providing 73 specialist outpatient services, including specialist medical outpatient, investigation and treatment specialties, as well as consultation organized by outpatient department. The specialty medical services provided by Conde S. Januario Hospital and the community medical services provided by the Health Centres are working the dual referral system, so as to provide appropriate medical services to the residents. In addition to dual referral, the Conde S. Januario Hospital alsro provides round the clock emergency services, including medical specialists, operations and specialist inpatient services. The Health Bureau has set up an Island Emergency Station, Community Rehabilitation Ward, Dementia Medical Centre and the Child Assessment Centre. Its newly built Emergency Service Building further optimises medical services and environment for the patients.
Primary Healthcare Services
To realise the objective of ‘Health for All’ advocated by the World Health Organization (WHO) the Health Bureau has established Health Centres throughout the territory. The completion of a primary healthcare network with health centres as its operational units offers all Macao residents easy access to primary healthcare services in their own neighbourhoods.
There are eight Health Centres and three Health Stations offering adult health care, antenatal care, women's health care, child care, elderly care, elderly health assessment, oral and dental care, school health care, Chinese medicine and acupuncture, mental health care, smoking cessation counseling, colorectal cancer screening, dementia assessment, elderly care counseling, diabetes care counseling, drug counseling, vaccination, physical examination and other services.
Co-operation with Non-profit-making Medical Institutions
The Government co-operates with many non-profit-making medical institutions to provide various services to residents including specialist healthcare (inpatient, emergency and cardiac surgery), outpatient services for general medicine, Chinese medicine and dental care, rehabilitation, homecare, cervical cancer screening, psychological consultation, patient transportation, and fissure sealing service and tooth polishing services for students. It also provides education programmes on AIDS prevention and promotion of tobacco-free lifestyles.
Since 2009, the Government has implemented a medical subsidy scheme, distributing healthcare vouchers to every Macao permanent resident to enhance public health consciousness and subsidise medical expenses, as well as foster the development of private medical units. In 2013, the total value of healthcare vouchers for each permanent resident was increased to 600 patacas. In 2018, the healthcare vouchers are issued in electronic vouchers.
Private Healthcare Services
By June 2021 there are 3,719 healthcare professional licensees, 416 healthcare establishments and three hospitals registered under the Health Bureau, constituting a total of 4,138 issuances of private healthcare licences.
Kiang Wu Hospital is a non-governmental medical and health institution administered by the Kiang Wu Hospital Charitable Association of Macao. Established in 1871, is a charitable hospital founded and managed by Chinese people. Kiang Wu Hospital has developed into a modern general hospital that integrates treatment, prevention, teaching and research; it is currently implementing a modern information management system in phases.
Kiang Wu Hospital has the following departments: Emergency, Outpatient, Inpatient, an Intensive Care Unit (ICU/CCU), Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU), as well as a number of medical centres. The hospital’s clinical services also cover medicine, surgery, obstetrics and gynaecology, paediatrics, emergency, otorhinolaryngology, head and neck surgery, ophthalmology, dermatology, stomatology, rehabilitation, Chinese medicine, integrated physical examination, oncology and anaesthesiology. In addition, the hospital has supporting departments dedicated to various areas including medical imaging, pharmacy, pathology and general examination.
The Dr. Henry Y. T. Fok Specialist Medical Centre was completed and commenced operations in August 2009 to offer various specialty outpatient services to the public. Kiang Wu Hospital has four outpatient departments and two emergency departments, on the Macao Peninsula and in Taipa, respectively.
The University Hospital, an institution under the Macau University of Science and Technology (MUST) Foundation, is an integrated, modern hospital. It also serves as the clinical and teaching base for the Faculty of Chinese Medicine and Faculty of Health Sciences of MUST.
The hospital provides a wide range of services in various specialties of Western and Chinese medicines, as well as other high quality services in its clinics, including International Medical Service, Specialist Centre of Chinese Medicine Faculty, Executive Health Management Centre, Integrated Rehabilitation Service Centre, Sleep Disorder Management Centre, Medical Imaging Diagnostic Centre, Clinical Laboratory Diagnostic Centre, Endoscopy Centre, Preventive Medicine, Integrated Chinese and Western Medicine Oncology Treatment Service, Electrocardiography Room, Interventional Catheterisation Room, Operating Room, Intensive Care Unit and Inpatient Department.
The Government designs its social welfare policies in conjunction with social service facilities to deliver practical social services that meet residents’ needs, solve the problems of individuals, family and society encounter, so as to enhance the ability and quality of the lives of residence and create social harmony and happy family.
The Social Welfare Bureau (IAS)
The Social Welfare Bureau (IAS) is responsible for the formulation, coordination, promotion and implementation of the social policy and welfare of the Macao SAR. It provides services for individuals and families, children and youths, the elderly, rehabilitation, prevention and treatment of drug dependence, problem gambling and social reintegration. There are 12 social service facilities provide direct service to residents, including Social Services Centres, a casualty centre for victims of disasters, elderly centres, Assessment Centre for Rehabilitation, Drug Treatment Centres (Methadone), Healthy Life Education Centre and The Resilience Centre (Problem Gambling Prevention and Treatment).
In 2021, the Macao SAR government continues to distribute the ‘Subsidy for Senior Citizens’ of MOP 9,000 through the Social Welfare Bureau (IAS) to each permanent resident in Macao aged 65 or above; and Disability Subsidies to permanent residents in Macao holding a valid ‘Disability Assessment Registration Card’, constituting MOP 9,000 for a ‘regular disability’ and MOP 18,000 for a ‘special disability’.
Family and Community Services
IAS has established four social services centres and one service sub-centre in Macao, providing individuals and families in need with general community services, including personal and family counselling, financial aid, round-the-clock support, disaster relief, referral services and legal consultation. IAS also provides counselling and welfare-based assistance to those suffering from domestic violence; distributes allowance and subsidies such as Subsidies for Senior Citizens and Disability Subsidies.
To enhance welfare recipients’ incentives to work and to encourage them to re-enter the labour market, the Social Welfare Bureau continue to co-operate with non-governmental organisations in implementing the Community Employment Assistance Scheme and Positive Life Service Programme. There is a dedicated department that provides counselling and welfare-based assistance to those suffering from dangerous situations such as domestic violence, severe emotional distress, suicide, etc. Special protection and assistance are given to people affected by domestic violence.
On the other hand, IAS subsidies non-governmental organisations to establish family and community services, mainly includes integrated family and community service center, community center, community service projects and shelters and temporary shelters. The centers and service projects are provided as preventive, supportive and counselling services, in 3-level preventive strategy via diversified approaches, so as to facilitate the growth and development of individuals and family.
Children and Youth’s Services
Through the collaboration with public departments, as well as provision of assistance to court in area of social protection regime, IAS provide counseling and protection to children and youth, assisting them to overcome challenges, rebuild social relationship, in order to achieve the ultimate goal of healthy growth and society integration.
The IAS is the exclusive authorised organisation in Macao that deals with adoption services, the Children and Youth Service Division is responsible for implementing adoption related affairs, including evaluating adoption applications, matching and post-adoption follow-ups.
For Court Auxiliary Service, IAS is responsible for providing assistance to youths under 12 year of age who become involved in judicial actions, in accordance with the social protection system, as well as counselling and community support follow ups to the youths between 12 years to 16 years of age who have committed criminal offences or misdemeanours for the first time, in accordance with “Education and Supervision Regime/System of Juvenile Offenders”.
IAS provides children and youth services by cooperating with social service organisations, mainly including nursery, assisting families to take care of infants and providing development activities; the government has established the ‘Priority Nursery Service System for Vulnerable Families’ to provide families in need with prioritised all-day subsidized nursery care services, as well as care homes and foster services for children and adolescents (coordinated by IAS); residential service for those cannot enjoy normal family care due to family problem; community youth social work team providing services to youth who are vulnerable to crises, such as outreach work, youth career development services, supporting services to families with children and youth at risk, community supporting services and drug abuse prevention services etc.; youth and family integrated service centres which provide services to the youths and families of the community including youth development activities, provide youth counselling and supporting services, organise family life education and family activities, and provide family counselling and supporting services, as well as school supporting services.
Service for the Elderly
To cope with the opportunities and challenges brought by an aging population, and to enhance policies and services for the elderly to boost their wellbeing, the government has established an old-age security system strategic team consisting of 13 public departments, to progressively implement the 445 short, medium and long term measures formulated in the Ten Year Action Plan for Elderly Services 2016-2025. The measures, covering various aspects of the elderly’s daily life, are guided by the goals set forth in four major categories, namely ‘medical services’, ‘rights protection’, ‘social participation’ and ‘living environment’, and 14 sub-categories. The key achievements of IAS include: establishing more day care centres for elderly dementia patients, launching the Peng On Tung Outdoor Assistance Service, increasing the quota of various elderly services, providing stair climbing services, launching the Funding Programme for Elderly Technology Application, establishing the Senior Citizens Day, launching the ‘Elderly Employment Subsidy Scheme for Social Enterprises’, initiating a feasibility study on reverse mortgage, and launching the ‘Mobile Phone Subsidy Scheme for Elderly and Disabled Financial Aid Recipients’.
With regard to elderly services, IAS has been cooperating with non-governmental organisations and providing them with continuous financial and technical assistance in establishing social service facilities and launching community support services, thereby improving service quality and providing appropriate services for the elderly in need, which allow them to enjoy their remaining years. There are elderly homes and elderly care centres providing residential care places and day care services to elderly people with health problems or lacking self-care capabilities. Appropriate home care and support services are provided to the elderly who are in frail condition or need constant care. Associations and elderly centres have launched the ‘Caring Services Network for the Elderly’ and ‘Singleton Elders Support Programme’, with volunteers paying home visits, conducting outreach phone calls and organising community activities to shower the elderly with love and care from the community. The ‘Peng On Tung Tele-Assistance Service’ provides singleton elders and people in need with 24-hour immediate assistance, as well as the ‘Caring Listener’ elderly hotline service which includes emotional support, regular greetings, community information, referrals and regular visits. There are also elderly day care centres and elderly recreation centres organising recreational activities for elderly people.
Through the ‘Home Safety Assessment and Equipment Subsidy Scheme for the Elderly’, IAS conducts home safety assessments and installs safety equipment such as handrails for elderly people living alone and 2-senior households, thereby improving their safety at home.
Macao Resident Identity Cards holders aged 65 or over are eligible to apply for the Senior Citizen’s Card. Senior Citizen’s Cardholders are entitled to the welfare and benefits offered by the public organisations and enterprises that have signed co-operation agreements with the Social Affairs Bureau.
In order to prevent disability and allow recovery and social integration of people with disabilities, 14 government departments are implementing the 356 short, medium and long term measures of the Ten-Year Action Plan for Rehabilitation Services 2016-2025, covering 13 service areas closely related to the disabled, such as disability prevention and assessment, medical rehabilitation, pre-school training and nursery, education, employment, vocational rehabilitation, residential care, community support, social security, development of self-help organisations, construction of barrier-free environment (access facilities, transport, and application of information and communication technology), recreational and cultural activities, and public awareness. Key initiatives launched by IAS include: providing early intervention training for nursery staff, building a case reporting mechanism for nurseries, establishing inclusive nurseries, increasing quota for various rehabilitation services, conducting feasibility study on carer allowance, formulating the ‘Architectural Standards for Barrier-free and Universal Design in the Macao SAR’, studying the introduction of guide dogs and implementing the Pilot Scheme for Aiding Disabled People in Purchasing Assistive Devices.
As for rehabilitation services, IAS supports the operations of self-help organisations through providing financial and technical assistance and donating facilities, equipment and materials. For example, IAS supports organisations helping family members of people with hearing, visual, physical or mental impairment, autism patients and people recovering from mental disorders by launching services, providing family support and organising community education activities. In addition, IAS has partnered with social service organisations to provide rehabilitation services, including residential, day care and other services as detailed below.
Residential services include long-term residential care services and rehabilitation training for people with moderate to severe mental impairment, people recovering from mental illness and children with disabilities; supportive accommodation such as small-scale accommodation for people with mild to moderate mental impairment, as well as halfway house and supported hostels for people recovering from mental illness, providing them with transitional accommodation, life training and support.
Day care services include rehabilitation day centres providing self-training, group learning, rehabilitation, regular activities and case-based support for people with hearing, visual or mental impairment and those recovering from mental illness; occupational rehabilitation centres providing job training for disabled people with a certain degree of working ability through sheltered workshops or supported employment services, thereby increasing their opportunities to work in an integrated environment; early education and training centres providing early education, professional treatment and training for children with developmental disorders, so as to assist their development in mental, language, listening, social and physical abilities.
Other services include rehabilitation buses providing transport services between home and hospital for people with physical difficulties or who are required to undergo haemodialysis. Non-reserved ‘rehabilitation shuttle buses’ are also offered along certain circular routes for people with disabilities to go out and meet with family and friends, participate in cultural and recreational activities, and handle personal matters.
The Social Welfare Bureau also provides professional assessment services to Macao residents who need to apply for or use the subsidised rehabilitation facilities, thereby assisting them in finding the most appropriate rehabilitation services.
Prevention and Treatment of Drug Addiction
The prevention of drug abuse mainly targets local schools, families and community, widely spreading and promoting the message of anti-drug abuse to the public through educational activities and other means, such as seminars, training programmes, cultural, recreational and sports activities, posters/leaflets, advertisements, exhibitions, games, websites, enquiry hotlines and reception services. Financial aid and technical assistance have also been given to non-government associations in organising anti-drug activities. Drug education programmes ‘Healthy Life Education Programme’ and ‘Smart and Cool Teen’ courses are systematically provided to local students ranging from K3 to junior secondary levels. The Happy Life Education Centre has been established to broaden the dimensions of drug education, with cultural, sports and art activities organised for adolescents and other residents to promote the message of drug prevention and healthy life.
The drug rehabilitation service mainly provides outpatient drug treatment and maintenance treatment services for voluntary drug dependent patients, and also provides support services for drug abusers' families. The services include: medical care, health checkups, personal counseling, family counseling, social support and referral services. In addition, it also promotes the involvement of private institutions in the intervention and counselling services for high-risk individuals, as well as inpatient drug treatment and rehabilitation services.
Prevention and Treatment of Gambling Disorder
The ‘Problem Gambling Prevention and Treatment Division - The Resilience Centre’ is established by the Social Affairs Bureau (IAS) to provide counselling services and professional training to people affected by gambling addiction, as well as running education programmes and promoting responsible gaming in the community. The ‘24 Hours Hotline and Online Counselling Services for Gamblers’ has also been launched, with the commissioned organisation offering assistance and counselling services by phone and online.
To promote responsible gaming, a series of activities have been held in partnership with government departments, academic institutions, gaming operators and the social service sector, including launching and closing ceremonies, interactive WeChat games, and subsidised community programmes. Besides, IAS has been driving stakeholders to implement responsible gaming policies and procedures, and has set up in casinos and problem gambling prevention and treatment centres a number of responsible gaming information kiosks and stations with ambassadors, providing gamblers with information regarding risks of gambling, responsible gaming, help-seeking channels, and self-exclusion application services.
To further support gaming employees’ mental and physical health, IAS has joined hands with non-governmental organisations to run activities which cover a wide range of topics, such as healthy family life, parent-child interaction, money management for children, understanding social services, volunteer training, hobby development, career planning, mental health and responsible gaming, as well as the Smart Financial Promotion Project with a number of money management lectures held at schools. Gaming addiction counselling services have also been launched in collaboration with non-governmental organisations to help high-risk adolescents handle gaming-related issues in a timely and effective manner.
Social Reintegration Service
The Department of Social reintegration is responsible for social reintegration service, mainly assist the court to implement non-custodial sentences and sentence suspension orders (Such as parole, supervision for probationers, community work order, discontinuance of legal proceeding, judicial restoration and etc) and non-custodial sentences and sentence suspension orders to young offenders (such as restorative justice order, rule abiding order, probation order, community service order and half-way home order), provide supports for offenders to reintegrate into society and restore a law-abiding life.
In order to assist the court to implement non-custodial sentences and orders, the Department of Social Reintegration launches 3 systematic correctional courses and activities in 2020, allowing rehabilitated persons to receive diversified corrections and education, so as to enhance their cognitive ability and law-abiding awareness and establish a positive lifestyle. The three courses are namely: Correctional Courses for Rehabilitated Offenders providing legal education and assistance to establish positive lifestyle; Correctional Courses for Youth Offenders including life planning and drug abuse prevention courses; Correctional Courses for Special Offenders including tailored correctional courses and psychological counselling.
In order to further improve the rehabilitation service in Macao and provide more support for rehabilitated persons, the Social Welfare Bureau cooperates with the relevant agencies from Hong Kong and Guangdong Province to provide Cross-regional Reintegration Service in Greater Bay Area for Macao residents serving their sentences in Hong Kong and Guangdong Province, so that they can reintegrate to the society smoothly once when they are released and return to their place of origin, in which will be beneficial for reoffending prevention.
Telephone: (853) 2836 7878
Social Service Facilities under Social Affairs Bureau
Social Service Facilities in Macao