Message from the President, G. Tang, April 2008
Consultation Paper on "Your Health Your Life"
I hope you have had an enjoyable Easter Holiday despite the hard work some of you have to put in for the influenza attack to the Community.
There is yet another event which should concern all of us and that is the much awaited consultation paper on health-care financing and reform called “Your Health Your Life”. A lot of attention has been placed on the six proposals on health-care financing for the future when the public health-care cost of $38 billion for 2008 is projected to increase to $127 billion for 2025. This projection is based on the increase in the elderly population beyond the age of 65 when there is a higher chance to use the public health-care service. The ratio of the working age population to the elderly retired population will change from the current 6:1 to 3:1 in 20 years. Together with the many advances in medical technology and the increase in patients’ expectation in treatment, it is not difficult to understand there is a need to discuss now the sustainability of the present public health-care service for the future.
Your Academy with its Colleges is charged with the responsibility for the maintenance of the standard of health-care delivery to the Community via postgraduate training, assessment and continuing medical education and continuous professional development. At this moment of discussion on health-care financing and reform, I believe we have the duty to contribute our thoughts positively so that together, we can help the Community. We are the professionals who know best what the standard of health-care should be, and how the delivery of such be provided efficiently. It is important for us to get the economics of health-care right, both in terms of dollars and effects.
There are a number of health-care delivery models worthy of our consideration. They include the “Family Doctor Register”, the public-private interface, and the electronic patient records. These models involve a change in the financing both from the Government and from the citizens of Hong Kong. We must proceed with prudence and objectivity. The standard of health-care should underpin the economics of health-care. Your wisdom will be an invaluable input to the continued quality and sustainable health-care to your Community.