Name: Lai Mei Kwan Michele
SOWK1001 Essay (Topic 7)
SOWK1001 Introduction to Social Administration
Essay Topic 7: COMMENT ON THE VARIOUS OPTIONS OF FINANCING
THE MEDICAL AND HEALTH CARE IN HONG KONG AS SUGGESTED
BY THE SAR GOVERNMENT IN ITS CONSULTATIVE PAPER, 2008.
EXPLAIN YOUR OWN CHOICE OF OPTION.
Hong Kong, as a former colony of Britain, adopts the tax-based system
introduced by the Britain. We are renowned for being one of the lowest tax rates
around the world. However, unlike other developed countries, their government will
provide their citizens with all-round medical insurance. The current system in Hong
Kong is still fine and work, but if there are epidemic outbreak, demand rising,
industrial accidents or any emergency cases, the resources will be constrained.
However according to the Basic Law, Hong Kong must keep its tax low. Therefore
we should seek other supplementary financing options to deal with the problem.
According to the government’s consultative paper in 2008, there are totally 6
different supplementary financing options suggested. Although the Chief Executive
Sir Donald Tsang has made his speech confirming one of the options, Voluntary
Private Health Insurance, is supported by the government in the previous speech, I
would like to analyze the other options as well and state my own choice.
Standing out in front of other developed countries, Hong Kong is renowned for
its relatively high-quality and well-developed healthcare system for citizens. Research
has proved that life expectancy and infant mortality of Hong Kong citizens rank
among the best in the world. At the same time we enjoy high-quality of medication
and health services, Hong Kong’s healthcare system is facing number of challenges.
Most of these challenges are related to financial inadequate. As the medical standard
in Hong Kong is so high that we are enjoying a longer life expectancy, which in other
words, we also suffered from the social problems brought out by rapid aging
population. On the other hand nowadays in Hong Kong, we are having a fast but
unhealthy lifestyle which will lead to certain kinds of diseases that was rare in the old
days. Medications are getting more and more expensive also, thus more and more
citizens rely on public hospital system, and as a result, the burden of public hospital is
much higher than that of private hospital. Concerning the abovementioned crisis faced
by the healthcare services in Hong Kong, a medical and healthcare system reform is a
must in order to solve ease the financial burden.
The six supplementary financing options suggested are namely, Social Health
Insurance, Out-of-Pockets Payments, Medical Savings Accounts, Voluntary Private
Health Insurance, Mandatory Private Health Insurance and Personal Healthcare
Reserve (PHR). By simply looking at the wordings of the six options, ordinary
citizens can hardly tell the details and differences among them. We always need to