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SFH on pilot programme for price transparency for private hospitals

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Following is the transcript of remarks made by the Secretary for Food and Health, Dr Ko Wing-man, after meeting representatives of the Hong Kong Private Hospitals Association (HKPHA) on pilot programme for price transparency for private hospital today (September 29):

Secretary for Food and Health: The Government together with the HKPHA will roll out a pilot programme for price transparency for private hospitals on October 1. The pilot programme enables patients to obtain more comprehensive information on hospital fees, which will assist them to make informed choices and financial preparation when using private medical services. Under the pilot programme, members of the HKPHA, including all the 11 private hospitals in Hong Kong, will try out the three different aspects of price transparency measures on a voluntary basis. We hope that private hospitals will acquire relevant experience by trying out and implementing the measures to enhance price transparency under the pilot programme. On the other hand, the Government will continue to engage stakeholders and consider incorporating these measures into the new legislation for regulating private healthcare facilities.

Reporter: As the estimates are not legally binding, can the patients complain against them?

Secretary for Food and Health: Despite it is not being a legally binding so-called quotation, it will benefit the patients a lot. Before admitting to hospitals, they are able to know the range of fee they have to pay after the procedures.

Reporter: Can the patients complain if they find the estimates are inaccurate?

Secretary for Food and Health: Certainly, patients always have the right to complain against different aspects of service they received in private hospitals. If they feel that the service is not up to their satisfaction, they can always lodge their complaints. I truly believe that our doctors as well as hospital administration will try their best to address these complaints. Of course, communication is important before the patient is being admitted to the hospital, or certain treatment or procedures are being carried out. If there is better communication, I would believe that the number of complaints would be minimised.

(Please also refer to the Chinese portion of the transcript.)

Ends/Thursday, September 29, 2016
Issued at HKT 20:31

12 Apr 2019