This research is being carried out to evaluate and present pricing policy of Hong Kong healthcare system. the researcher of this essay aims to pay special attention to the merits of and de-merits of pricing policies for healthcare in Hong Kong…
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The paper presents that in the era of globalization and advanced technical knowhow countries are making significant reforms in their various sectors. In such a respect Hong Kong is also not left behind. The country has made a number of alterations within the healthcare sector. The reforms have been directed towards providing better health care services to the country’s citizens. The Department of Health is entrusted with framing policies for country’s healthcare care services and also to facilitate efficient allocation of resources. It has implemented new policies and modified existing policies. Several modifications have been made in healthcare practices and management. New pricing policy has been introduced in Hong Kong healthcare sector. The country in 2002 has introduced charges for patients who are admitted in hospitals under emergency situation or after meeting with an accident. The reforms have lead to noticeable reduction in death rates and increased life expectancies. Better treatment is available from efficient health care professionals at a considerably low cost. Keeping this at the backdrop the current paper tends to present a critical review of the pricing policy that has been implemented for the health care system of Hong Kong. The public hospitals and clinics in Hong Kong receive a good amount of subsidies from the government so as to provide medical treatment to the citizens at the lowest possible cost. The government despite such high quality medical care has imposed low rates of taxes. However government is expected to bear the burden of expensive medical facilities which is likely to increase in the upcoming years. The estimates have shown a continuous increase in governmental expenditure for health care (Development and Financing of Hong Kong’s Future Health Care, 2007). Pricing Policy of Hong Kong Healthcare System Health care services in Hong Kong are considered to be a mixed one. The public sector has taken up the responsibility to give 92 percent of the hospital services. About 85 percent of primary care is provided by the private sector. Most people approach public hospitals for complex diseases in Hong Kong mainly due to the low cost of treatment (Fitzner, Coughlin, Timori and Bennett, 2000). The fees charged by public health care institutions in Hong Kong are very much less compared to other countries. Government has imposed strict regulations on these public sector fees. However patients have a hard time trying to get to the physician. The healthcare system is very time consuming. Patients have to pay a high cost in terms of inconvenience and time consuming treatment. Physicians often send their patients to emergency department in order to get a simple diagnostic test done. The emergency department remains filled with such patients depriving the actual needy ones from proper treatment (Hay, 1992, pp.35-36). However medical treatment for diseases like tuberculosis is performed free of cost. However to make such a low cost medical system sustainable for the country is a major challenge before the government (Hong Kong (China), 2010). It is becoming increasingly difficult for the government to meet the expenses of such low cost medical treatment. Recent economic predictions have shown increase in tax rates to finance healthcare needs. Such a pricing policy under health care system have made even the richer sections rush to public hospitals for treatment. The demand for such health care facilities has been continuously growing (Hay, 1992, p.51). Clearly Hong Kong has adopted a non- interventional for its public healthcare system. The pricing policy was aimed at providing medical facilities to those sections of population that cannot afford medical treatment elsewhere. Reforms have also been made in the structure of funds in Hong Kong to adopt such
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