Tempers flew at the Legislative Council chambers yesterday when legislators and groups for the elderly rounded on Secretary for Health, Welfare and Food Yeoh Eng-kiong over his plans to increase medical charges to tackle the budget deficit. The government will raise medical fees from April 1 and also plans to tighten the income and assets limits for those eligible for a discount or a fee waiver. But political parties say all elderly patients should automatically get a waiver. Thirteen patients' rights and elderly associations presented their views on the waiver scheme before the Legco meeting of the health services panel yesterday. 'We do not even have blood and you want to cut us up,' said Yu Ying-har of the Joyful Club, an elderly organisation. 'Dr Yeoh is living in another world.' A representative of the Kwai Chung Estate Elderly Rights Concern Group said since Dr Yeoh became health minister 'everything has been a mess'. 'I think that being a doctor himself, he is unscrupulous,' he said. Dr Yeoh stressed it was reasonable to ask those who could afford it to pay more. 'Where does the money come from? Does it come from the sky or will it grow on a tree? We have to look at the accounts.' He said the government had tried to strike a balance. 'These are just guidelines. We have to look at the actual situation.' But legislator Lee Cheuk-yan said: 'We are not talking about Li Ka-shing or Tung Chee-hwa, who will not use public hospitals. For many of these elderly people, the asset limit is their life's savings. Why can we not make the rules more lenient?'