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All sick leave certificates issued by Hong Kong's Hospital Authority to go digital from 6 March 2023

All sick leave certificates issued by Hong Kong's Hospital Authority to go digital from 6 March 2023

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The electronic certificate will be automatically stored, and can be verified with an encrypted QR code, through the HA mobile application, HA Go.

The Hospital Authority (HA) of Hong Kong has announced all medical certificates will be delivered electronically starting from 6 March 2023. All medical certificates (commonly known as sick leave certificates, or MCs) issued by the HA will fully adopt a digital signature with an electronic version, to replace the traditional manually-signed paper certificates.

In future, patients who attend consultations in HA hospitals or clinics in-person can view, download or share their electronic medical certificates and/or attendance certificates in "My Record" under the HA mobile application HA Go feature "MyHealth" (see above image). Patients can use these for a sick leave application or as a proof of consultation, and print out when needed. 

If a patient is granted sick leave after a teleconsultation, he/she will also receive an electronic medical certificate immediately without the need to return to the hospital or clinic to obtain the certificate.

The new version of the medical certificate will adopt a digital signature without requiring a doctor to sign manually. Same as the manually signed traditional paper medical certificate, the digitally signed medical certificate will include the patient's name and the information relevant to the consultation. The digital signature is of the same legal effect as a traditional manual signature.

For employers' purposes, there will be an encrypted QR code on the electronic medical certificate. Employers can verify the electronic medical certificate (e-MC) by scanning the QR code and inputting the patient's name and sick leave date.

The HA Chief Manager (Cluster Performance), Dr Larry Lee, said the digitisation of the medical certificate is an important milestone in the development of the smart hospital. It streamlines the process of telehealth services so as to enable the HA to enhance patient satisfaction.

The HA encourages patients to opt for electronic certificates in the future. However, the HA will continue to print paper medical certificates with a digital signature, and attendance certificates for patients.


Images / Hospital Authority's press release

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