The Hospital Authority said yesterday it would cut head office costs by 25 per cent over the next four years. It will also merge management of some hospitals in line with the Chief Executive's pledge to improve efficiency. Authority chief executive Dr Yeoh Eng-kiong said he was hoping to cut head office expenses by one quarter as part of the overall five per cent cut the authority is required to absorb. 'The more cutbacks we make at the head office means the more money we have to spend in the hospitals,' Dr Yeoh said. Head office had already cut its budget by eight per cent, he said. 'It's simplifying management. When the authority was set up, the hospitals were not ready for the management. 'We had a central control and still had deputies in hospitals in each area. 'Now the hospitals are more mature in their management and a lot of the functions can be merged.' Dr Yeoh said there would be no retrenchments, though some posts would disappear through general staff turnover. Ruttonjee and Tang Shiu Kin hospitals have merged their management, as have Northern and Fanling hospitals.