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Free Content The `market' for medical and health information in transition: the case of the Hong Kong Hospital Authority libraries

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The last few years have been a period of transition not only for hospitals and their governance but also for post-graduate medical education in Hong Kong. Both trends have a direct impact on the information market place. This article starts by studying the provision of medical and health-related information in Hong Kong. The two university medical and dental libraries, together with the hospital and health sciences libraries in government hospitals and the Department of Health, house the major collections on medicine and health care. The demand for medical and health care information is increasingly felt with the takeover of 39 hospitals by the statutory Hong Kong Hospital Authority in 1991. The major problems and issues in planning for library information services are the historically uneven development of libraries, discrepancies in funding, the changes in organizational and management structure, and the competition with higher development priorities within the organization. In view of current technology and the availability of rich external resources, the adopted strategies tend towards the formation of 10 library service networks, development of integrated library information systems on the Health Authority-wide area network, and the devolution of management responsibilities. The future challenges in store for the information professional are examined.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Hong Kong Hospital Authority, Head Office Library, 2206 World Trade Centre, 280 Gloucester Road, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong

Publication date: December 1, 1996

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