Impose limit on medical charges

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 05 October, 1993, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 05 October, 1993, 12:00am

I BELIEVE people should contribute a reasonable proportion to the ever-increasing medical expenses. But how reasonable is reasonable? It seems perfectly reasonable to charge a certain rate on a daily basis and have itemised charging per prescription, but what if the illness is a chronic one? In such a case, even a reasonable percentage can turn out to be a great deal.

At present, it costs $1,300 at most for a bed for a whole month.

But under the new policy, it would cost $9,500 - without medication.

I suggest that chronic patients be charged on a monthly, not daily basis, with a price ceiling set on the final bill. Once the expense exceeds a certain fixed amount, the patient needs to pay no more for the rest of the month.

This kind of modification would be applauded by all Hong Kong citizens.

The Secretary for Health and Welfare should give serious consideration to introducing such measures.

After all, the health policy consultation document says, ''the existing policy that no one should be denied adequate medical treatment through lack of means will remain paramount''.