Hong Kong private clinics charge patients as much as a quarter more than they did four years ago.
Charges at general outpatient clinics have jumped 25 percent during the period, while those at specialist outpatient clinics have gone up 23 percent, Apple Daily reported Wednesday.
It cited a survey the Hong Kong Medical Association conducted among 620 private doctors in July and August.
The average fee paid for major operations like liver resection has risen 20 percent to HK$60,000 (US$7,738), while the highest fee rose 41 percent to HK$120,000.
The average fee for minor operations jumped 25 percent to HK$5,000.
A surgical specialist said higher fees charged by private clinics mainly result from continual increases in rent that have totaled at least 50 percent over the past few years.
Dr. Louis Shih, a member of the HKMA, said the voluntary medical insurance scheme proposed by the government should include outpatient clinics’ fees.
Based on the scheme, which is scheduled for public consultation as soon as next month, the maximum claim by a patient for each operation is HK$58,000, which may be insufficient if the surgery is classified as a major operation.
Sources told the newspaper the government, along the lines of suggestions from outside consultants in 2012, might set the annual premium at between HK$1,250 and HK$9,950, depending on age, or about HK$3,600 on average.
They said the government plans to make the premium tax-deductible for individuals and families.
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