New Hong Kong hospital to offer fixed-price packages upon opening in early 2017

Gleneagles Hospital in Aberdeen will initially offer deal for 50 procedures including doctors’ fees, ward charges and extra medical costs if complications arise

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 25 October, 2016, 8:03am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 25 October, 2016, 8:03am

A new private hospital in Aberdeen will launch fixed-price packages for 50 medical procedureswhen it opens early next year.

The 500-bed Gleneagles Hospital will be the first in the city to offer such packages, which include doctors’ fees, ward charges and extra medical costs if complications arise during the scheduled length of stay.

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The move follows government efforts to push for greater price transparency in private hospitals. A pilot programme was launched early this month under which private hospitals have to provide budget estimates to patients for non-urgent operations.

“[Repeat] operations and care in the intensive care unit would be catered within the prescribed length of stay with no additional charges,” said Dr Tan See Leng, chief executive officer of hospital co-operator Parkway Pantai. “Patients would want assurance of a certain fixed price when they go in and get treated.”

His group is partnering with NWS Holdings and the University of Hong Kong in running the hospital, which will also be a training ground for the university’s medical students.

Examples of surgical procedures offered in packages, which make up at least 51 per cent of services on offer, include cataract and knee-replacement surgery.

Tan said his group’s experience in other countries had been used in drawing up the Hong Kong packages.

“The 50 types of surgery at the start would be those with low risk and longer waiting times in public hospitals,” Gleneagles chief operating officer Dr Alexander Chiu said.

The packages on offer are expected to be expanded gradually to 150 in the months after the hospital opens.

Neither Tan nor Chiu revealed whether the all-inclusive packages would be more expensive than what is available in other private hospitals. They would only say the prices would be “competitive”.

The hospital has recruited around 300 private staff as visiting doctors, and aims to recruit 15 to 20 resident doctors. The university will also help recruit 45 to 50 specialists to maintain the clinical standards needed for a teaching hospital.