The government will soon set up a working group to promote the system of 'one person, one doctor', one of three targets before its health-care financing reform can be put in place. A senior government source said that before the consultation on the financing reforms could start, the Health, Welfare and Food Bureau would work to introduce a family doctors system, encourage co-operation between the public and private sectors, and speed up the sharing of medical records between the two sectors. A new primary-care working group will table proposals for the government's consideration by the end of this year on how to introduce a family doctors system. 'It has been a culture in Hong Kong that people like doctor-shopping; it is not a good practice. Patients should have their own family doctors, who know their medical history and needs. Such a system will help with prevention and reduce the burden on hospital services,' a senior government source said. 'We are postponing the health-care financing review but we are not doing nothing. Enhancing primary care in Hong Kong is one of our priorities this year,' the source said. Promotion of family medicine was one of the main recommendations in the consultation document released by the Health and Medical Development Advisory Committee in July last year. The committee's plan to release another consultation on financing models this summer has been delayed. The source said the working group would be formed by some committee members and include medical professionals and community representatives. Last week the Hospital Authority's chief executive, Shane Solomon, said the authority would boost outpatient services by providing more community and supporting services. The government source added that the government would like to see the authority develop more projects with the private sector. 'We are inviting proposals from the private sector, especially those that can provide innovative services for the public,' the source said. Some public hospitals now refer patients to private hospitals for specialised services, with offers of discounts by partner private hospitals. At Hong Kong's eye hospitals, for example, a group of private eye surgeons also provide their business information to facilitate patients seeking private services such as cataract operations. 'These projects can shorten the waiting time of public patients, bring business to the private hospitals and provide the patients with choices,' the source said. The government will also speed up the use of an information system that will allow private doctors access to the records of public patients. A pilot scheme, involving fewer than 100 private doctors, has been run by the Hospital Authority and the Medical Association for more than a month.