Global Audiology/Asia/Hong Kong SAR

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Hong Kong is located at the south-eastern tip of China and covers a total land area of 1,114.35 square kilometres, including 261 outlying islands. Hong Kong is a vibrant city and a major gateway to Mainland China. The population size of Hong Kong is approximately 7.35 million. People of Chinese descent comprise the vast majority of the population, making up 91.6% of the population. The population density is 6,740 people per square kilometre. Chinese and English are the official languages of Hong Kong. English is widely used in the Government and by the legal, professional, and business sectors. Trilingual professionals who speak English, Cantonese, and Putonghua (Mandarin Chinese) play a vital role in the numerous professional fields in Hong Kong.¹

Incidence and Prevalence of Hearing Loss

A territory-wide survey on persons with disabilities and chronic diseases was conducted during August 2019 - December 2020 via the local continuous sample survey, the General Household Survey, to estimate the total number and prevalence rate of persons with selected types of disabilities and chronic diseases.

In 2020, some 266,900 people (or 3.6% of the total population) in Hong Kong reported that they had some difficulty in hearing, 44,300 people (0.6%) had a lot of difficulty, and 3,600 people (less than 0.05%) could not hear at all. Among the total population, some 53,400 people (0.7%) reported using a hearing aid or tool.

Among the 266,900 people who reported that they had some difficulty in hearing, 9.4% cited that they were using a hearing aid or cochlear implant. Among the 44,300 people who had a lot of difficulty in hearing, 24.0% cited that they were using a hearing aid or cochlear implant. And among the 3,600 people who could not hear at all, 9.3% cited that they were using a hearing aid or cochlear implant. Of the 47,900 people aged 2 and over with hearing difficulty, 3,000 (6.3%) reported that they use sign language in their usual communication.

In Hong Kong, disability statistics are mainly available from relevant Government bureaus or departments, statutory bodies, and nongovernmental organizations. In particular, the Central Registry for Rehabilitation of the Labour and Welfare Bureau issues the Registration Card for People with Disabilities (Registration Card) to persons with permanent or temporary disabilities as a documentary proof of their disability status and maintains relevant records. Persons with disabilities and with certification by registered medical practitioners or allied health professionals, etc., could apply for the Registration Card. There were some 93,000 holders of valid Registration cards as of March 2021. As such applications are on a voluntary basis, it is assumed that such figures are some sort of lower bound estimates of the number of people with the specific type of disability in Hong Kong.²

Information About Audiology

Educational Institution[edit | edit source]

The Faculty of Education at the University of Hong Kong was one of the first in Southeast Asia and China to offer post-graduate training in audiology. The first students were enrolled in 1996, with intakes every two years. The two-year program provides students with detailed theoretical background knowledge of human hearing and hearing loss, as well as intensive clinical practice in a variety of audiology placements. The medium of instruction is English. The program is designed to provide students with high-quality clinical skills and an appreciation of research in audiology.³

Professional Bodies[edit | edit source]

Hong Kong Society of Audiology[edit | edit source]

The Hong Kong Society of Audiology is a voluntary organization founded in 1992 by a group of audiologists in Hong Kong. The Society has grown steadily over the years. In 2023, The Society has approximately 120 professional members.⁴

The Hong Kong Society of Audiology Limited endeavours:

  • To share among members the information and technology in Audiology and other related fields so as to update and promote the standard of audiological assessments and rehabilitation services in Hong Kong.
  • To promote research in the area of Audiology and related fields with reference * To local needs for study, diagnosis, alleviation, and prevention of hearing impairment.
  • To serve as a channel of communication among members and local and overseas professional bodies in matters related to Audiology, education, hearing, and speech sciences.
  • To serve as a consultative body for other professional organisations and community bodies on matters related to Audiology education, hearing, and speech sciences.
  • To serve as a social group for members of the Society and to promote their welfare in works related to Audiology, education, hearing, and speech sciences.

Hong Kong Institute of Audiologists[edit | edit source]

The Hong Kong Institute of Audiologists (HKIA) was established in March 2018 to enhance the professional standard of audiologists in Hong Kong and to participate in the Accredited Registers Scheme for Healthcare Professions administered by the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (6). HKIA ensures that the local public has access to professional audiological assessment and rehabilitation services provided by qualified audiologists. The Institute has approximately 60 audiologist registrants in 2023.⁵

The missions of the HKIA include:

  • To maintain professional standards of audiology services in Hong Kong;
  • To safeguard the public's interests in accessing audiology services in Hong Kong;
  • To maintain adequate standards of professional practice for audiologists;
  • To promote adequate standards of professional practice and of professional conduct among audiologist registrants;
  • To establish and maintain the accredited register of audiologists in Hong Kong;
  • To establish and maintain contact with other members of the audiology profession in Hong Kong.

Research in Audiology

The majority of audiology research in Hong Kong is led by the following researchers and their research teams. Please refer to their respective webpages for their research focus and publications.

Dr. Anna C.S. KAM Dr. Iris H.Y. NG Prof. Lena L.N. WONG Prof. Patrick C.M. WONG Dr. Kevin C.P. YUEN

Current Major Projects

Elderly Health Care Voucher Scheme[edit | edit source]

The coverage of the Elderly Health Care Voucher Scheme (EHVS) in Hong Kong was extended to include primary healthcare services provided by four categories of the healthcare profession under the Accredited Registers Scheme for Healthcare Professions (i.e., audiologists, dietitians, clinical psychologists, and speech therapists), as well as medical equipment (such as hearing aids) provided by them upon professional assessment in April 2023.

It is estimated that almost 1.7 million eligible elderly people in Hong Kong benefit from the EHVS. Together with the four new categories of healthcare professions, eligible elderly persons are able to make use of vouchers to pay for primary healthcare services provided by a total of 14 categories of healthcare professions (i.e., medical practitioners, Chinese medicine practitioners, dentists, nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, radiographers, medical laboratory technologists, chiropractors, optometrists with Part I registration, audiologists, dietitians, clinical psychologists, and speech therapists). As of March 2023, over 11,000 healthcare service providers in Hong Kong had already enrolled in the EHVS. Eligible elderly persons can use vouchers at over 33,000 service points across the territory.

Under the EHVS, eligible persons aged 65 and above are given an annual voucher amount to pay for services provided by private primary healthcare service providers enrolled in the EHVS. Any unused voucher amount can be carried forward for use in the following years, subject to a maximum accumulation limit.⁷

Audiology Charities

The Hong Kong Society for the Deaf[edit | edit source]

Found in 1968, the Hong Kong Society for the Deaf is a non-profit making organisation which aims to promote the well-being of the hearing impaired and seeks to ensure equalisation of opportunities for hearing impaired persons. The Society aims to provide comprehensive and professional services of the highest standards to ensure equalisation of opportunities for the hearing impaired, and to promote self-development, self-actualisation and self-sufficiency among the hearing impaired so they could integrate into society. Its objectives include:

  • To undertake projects of publicity, education, recreation, counseling, audiological and medical services for the hearing impaired; and to assist or collaborate with any institutions, organisations or individuals to improve the services for the hearing impaired.
  • To work towards improving the educational standards for the hearing impaired, to provide scholarships and special equipment for the hearing impaired, and to provide guidance for parents of hearing impaired children.
  • To inform the public about the problems and needs of the hearing impaired, to give necessary information to hearing impaired persons and their families about institutions and services available to them, and to exchange information among institutions serving the hearing impaired and to work towards the integration of the hearing impaired with the general public.⁸

Hear Talk Foundation[edit | edit source]

Launched in 2003, Hear Talk Foundation is a registered charitable organisation in Hong Kong committed to serving the underprivileged communities with hearing impairment and speech disorders both in Hong Kong and Mainland China, especially children and the elderly. It has been established by a group of committed ENT specialists, audiologists, speech therapists, and educators.⁹

Challenges, Opportunities and Notes

Challenges[edit | edit source]

  • There is a shortage of manpower in audiology, both in clinical practices and in the academic field.
  • Health literacy and cultural factors are the main barriers to the utilization of hearing health services.
  • The majority of the local population speaks Cantonese Chinese as their native language. Only a very limited number of speech assessment materials (including speech recognition tests, speech perception tests, and speech audiometry) are available in the local language.
  • There is no regulation for any hearing aid or hearing device. There is also no statutory registration for anyone practicing in the audiology field.

Notes[edit | edit source]

The author of this article is Dr. Iris H.Y. NG



  1. GovHK ( "GovHK: Hong Kong – the Facts". Retrieved 2023-06-26.
  2. Census and Statistics Department, Hong Kong SAR. Social data collected via the General Household Survey Special Topics Report No. 63: Persons with disabilities and chronic diseases. 2021; Available at: Accessed Jun 21, 2023.
  3. Faculty of Education, The University of Hong Kong. Master of Science in Audiology. 2023; Available at: Accessed Jun 21, 2023.
  4. "HKSA and Our Mission – Hong Kong Society of Audiology". Retrieved 2023-06-26.
  5. "Audiologists 聽力學家 – Hong Kong Institute of Audiologists". Retrieved 2023-06-26.
  6. "Accredited Registers Scheme for Healthcare Professions - Accredited Healthcare Professional Bodies". Retrieved 2023-06-26.
  7. Press Releases, The Government of the Hong Kong SAR. Coverage of Elderly Health Care Voucher Scheme to extend to include four categories of healthcare profession under Accredited Registers Scheme for Healthcare Professions. 2023; Available at: Accessed Jun 21, 2023.
  8. "The Hong Kong Society for the Deaf". Retrieved 2023-06-26.
  9. "Our Mission | Hear Talk Foundation". Retrieved 2023-06-26.