Health Insurance

Promoting private insurance still key to health reforms

It is never easy to sell an idea like the Health Protection Scheme to a free market in which doctors and hospitals set their own fees for service. Photo: Oliver Tsang

When the previous government opted for voluntary insurance - to be known as the Health Protection Scheme - as a central element of health-care reforms, it was envisaged private hospitals would offer fixed-price packages for treating common conditions. This would make medical costs more transparent and predictable - a factor seen as important in promoting insurance to the public - and complement the standardisation of coverage provided by insurers.

Sunday, 9 June, 2013, 2:40am

Hong Kong mulls greater oversight of private health insurance

Food and Health Secretary Dr Ko Wing-man

The government may take on a "middle-man role" in private health insurance cases, helping to decide claims, process compensation and register complaints, the health minister said.

26 May 2013 - 8:18am

Doubt cast on PICC health unit's huge loss

Doubt cast on PICC health unit's huge loss

PICC Health Insurance, controlled by Hong Kong-listed PICC Group and DKV, the largest private health insurance company in Europe, said last year's net losses amounted to 7.43 trillion yuan (HK$9.35 trillion), more than 200 times its 28.93 billion yuan in assets.

2 May 2013 - 3:47am

Hong Kong's out-of-pocket medical expenses set to double by 2020

Hongkongers are paying more for their own health care expenses. Photo: Nora Tam

Hong Kong has a health problem. I'm not talking here about pollution, bad diets or the stress of living in such a crowded city, although they are all serious enough. I'm talking about a health funding problem.

This year the city will spend around HK$100 billion on health care, or roughly 5 per cent of our gross domestic product.

14 Dec 2012 - 3:00am 2 comments

Health insurance is next important reform for Hong Kong

Reform of health-care financing is becoming one of the most talked-about of issues that haven't been resolved. Circumstances have conspired to relegate it to a lower priority over the years as the government has become preoccupied with financial crises, Sars, swine flu and - more recently - housing needs, national education and income disparity.

27 Sep 2012 - 2:36am

Doctors urge C.Y. Leung to move on medical insurance tax incentives

Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying is under pressure to give tax incentives to those buying medical insurance. Photo: SCMP

Calls are mounting for the government to give tax incentives to those buying medical insurance, in order to kick-start long-delayed health financing reforms.

It was one of several issues raised by 30 leading doctors, including core members of the Medical Association, during a meeting with Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying yesterday.

20 Sep 2012 - 3:48am

Teacher garners public sympathy after writing 'seditious' essays

Chen Pingfu, accused eassyist

If not for his heart attack in 2005, Chen Pingfu would still be a maths teacher, leading an ordinary life in Lanzhou, Gansu province.

That misfortune was followed by several more. Having no medical insurance from the state or his college, the 55-year-old fell into debt paying for his operation. Then he lost his job when his state factory-affiliated college closed in 2008.

17 Sep 2012 - 4:34am

China's health spending reform an encouraging sign

Important policy announcements tend to dry up as the mainland prepares for a once-in-a-decade leadership change. It is good to see that health care for the nation's 1.3 billion people is an exception. The Ministry of Health has announced a 30 to 40 per cent increase in health spending as a proportion of GDP by 2020, raising it from the current 4.9 per cent to 6.5 to 7 per cent.

10 Sep 2012 - 2:04am

Public hospitals struggle to cope with ageing population

Accident & emergency ward fees must go up. Photo: Felix Wong

Hong Kong citizens who fall sick have a number of options through the Hospital Authority. They can still visit a government-run outpatient clinic and pay HK$100. However, they will probably fail to make an appointment through the phone recording system as the service cannot cope with patient demand.

29 Aug 2012 - 2:26am


Lower birth rate will be good for HK

I refer to the report ('Birth ban will leave HK with fewer workers', August 1).

People seem to be obsessed with numbers, be it in Hong Kong or the mainland. We no longer live in an industrial society.

15 Aug 2012 - 11:07pm


In last week's issue, in a story entitled 'Anatomy of a health plan', there is a table that wrongly states that a Zurich Insurance health plan has an annual limit of HK$1.28 million. The correct figure is US$1.28 million. The error was introduced in editing.

21 May 2012 - 12:00am

Doubt cast on health insurance plan

The administration should set aside its proposed voluntary health insurance scheme because it is being rushed through without enough debate and the new government may simply reject it anyway, a patients' rights group said yesterday.

17 May 2012 - 12:00am

HSBC seeks to sell general insurance unit

HSBC Holdings is approaching a number of European and Japanese insurers in an attempt to sell its worldwide general insurance business, according to people familiar with the situation.

29 Sep 2011 - 12:00am

We must do more to stay healthy

The world faces numerous threats to public health which are beyond the control of those who suffer. But some of the biggest killers are self-inflicted. Bad diet, smoking, alcohol consumption and lack of exercise are contributing to what has been described as a 'slow-motion disaster'.

26 Sep 2011 - 12:00am

You're only assured of more risk

When it comes to life and disability insurance, beware the upfront costs. So says Ross Smith, broker with Shenton Ltd, who claims that the post-second world war life insurance system still governing Hong Kong's life cover is a net destroyer of investor wealth.

19 Sep 2011 - 12:00am