Waiver likely for HK$7m in medical expenses

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 24 July, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 24 July, 2010, 12:00am

The Hospital Authority is expected to waive HK$7.2 million in medical expenses that have been incurred by a patient from the mainland in hospital since 2002 after suffering a cerebral haemorrhage.

The waiver was approved by authority chairman Anthony Wu Ting-yuk on April 19, with a final decision by board members expected on Thursday.

An internal paper of the authority circulated among board members said the patient arrived from the mainland on a visa and was admitted to Kwong Wah Hospital in 2002. He was then transferred to Wong Tai Sin Hospital and had been bedbound since.

The hospital had been able to get in touch with some of his family members, but was unable to get a positive response regarding financial support.

The patient's wife visited him in hospital soon after he was admitted, but said she was unable to pay the medical expenses and would have difficulty taking care of him.

The patient's brother, who was his only close relative in Hong Kong, said the family was unable to pay the expenses and requested the waiver from the authority.

Since last year, the patient's relatives had visited him less often and were reluctant to make arrangements for him to be discharged from hospital, the paper said.

As the patient had overstayed since 2003, the Immigration Department is now arranging for him to be returned to the mainland, as he was considered to be in a stable condition and able to tolerate transportation.

The central government's liaison office is also contacting relevant departments in Guangdong to facilitate the transfer.

Public hospitals charge higher fees for non-Hong Kong patients. Those with outstanding medical bills have been banned from using non-emergency services since 2007.



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