Medical fees for the seniors in Hongkong
‘…in HK everybody enjoys virtually free medical benefits. This is especially worthwhile for seniors who have more needs to see a doctor. In HK, all government hospitals charge a maximum of only HK$100 = S$16 for the treatment of any disease inclusive of all medicines, regardless of how many times the patient has to come back to see the doctor. …’
This is an extract from an article by AFP on the benefits of growing old in Hongkong. One of the biggest bug bear of ageing is medical fee. And if I read the article right, ‘everybody enjoys virtually free medical benefits’ in HK, not free totally but the cost must be quite minimal compares to what Sinkies are paying in our public hospitals. And $16 for the seniors, inclusive of medicine is a steal. And there is no mean testing to see who gets what or how much difference must be the subsidies. They are not that mean and petty.
Hongkong is very similar in nature to Sin City in many ways, including standard of living, cost of living and even taxation. Why shouldn’t our govt use the HK medical model to structure our medical services, particularly the fees for citizens and senior citizens? Why is it that HK can afford such medical benefits for its citizens and we cannot despite the billions or maybe trillions of reserves that we boast about? And the subsidies for medical services must be quite enormous for the HK Govt to bear, and the best part, it is not going bankrupt for providing them.
In the same article it was suggested that the cost savings by the HK Govt is that they don’t pay their politicians and civil servants ‘out of this world’ salary. And they too are not corrupt, quite as corruption free as Sin Govt. Should Sin Govt learn from HK Govt or vice versa, to provide good quality medical services to the citizens at very reasonable cost, but not very affordable cost? Is the quality of the medical service in HK much lower than that in Sin or comparable while the cost to the HK people is really peanuts?
The most frightening thing in Sin today is to fall sick, young or old. Many will be facing bankruptcy even with Medisave and Medishield unless one is very well provided with private insurance to end up paying less than $10 for a major op.