Message from the President, G. Tang, April 2007
May I wish you and your family a healthy and happy Year of the Pig!
beginning of a calendar year is the start of a year of medical indemnity
insurance payment. Fellows working in the private sector will be acutely aware
of the sharp rise in the insurance premium they have to pay. I am concerned
about the soaring premium, for I fear it will stifle the development and
sustainability of certain specialties.
to 2002, the medical indemnity insurance of the Medical Protection Society
(MPS) ranged from HK$5175 in the public sector to HK$17 470 in the private
sector. From 2002 to 2007, the highest insurance premium for obstetrics has
increased 21-fold to HK$250 380. Other than obstetrics, specialties have been
regrouped into “super high risk” (cosmetic/aesthetic surgery,
neurosurgery, plastic and reconstructive surgery, spinal surgery), “very
high risk” (gynaecology, trauma and orthopaedic surgery), “high risk”
(cardiothoracic surgery, general surgery, ophthalmology with laser refractive
surgery, otorhinolaryngology, paediatric surgery, urology, vascular surgery),
“medium risk” (accident and emergency, anaesthetics, cardiology, oral and
maxillofacial surgery, radiology, radiotherapy), and “low risk” that
includes 21 other specialty categories. The amount of the premium paid by
Fellows will depend on where their specialty is placed in the risk groups by
has a glaring medical indemnity premium which has not reached its ceiling yet.
In fact, there is no ceiling. The premium is calculated based on the amount of
claims that have been made, and the projected claims to be made for a long
period of what is called the “long tail nature of personal injury claims”
after a baby is born. This period spans over at least 2 decades. Survey by the
there anything that can be done to curb the premium rise, for a high premium
will ultimately backfire on the health care of the community? Many
jurisdictions have similar experience as early as the 1970s, such as
am in the process of gathering information and having dialogue with the MPS. I
hope to open the discussion with the government on medical indemnity premium
as soon as possible for the sake of the profession and the
I shall keep you informed of the progress. I do not wish to see any specialty being stifled or disadvantaged in its development, and in the provision of quality service to the community.