CUHK hospital to open next year

Local | Jane Cheung 17 Sep 2019

Surgeries at the Chinese University of Hong Kong Medical Centre, due to open next year, will be charged under package prices, its chief executive, Fung Hong, said.

He said the hospital is expected to commence service in the second half of the year and will initially offer outpatient services and daytime surgeries.

Hospitalization and 24-hour outpatient services are estimated to be launched in 2021.

Fung revealed in a radio interview the hospital aims to provide package prices for all surgeries according to its complexity and the patient's health condition.

He said the hospital will reference the surgical costs of different treatments and set prices accordingly.

"For related clinical surgeries, if they have a similar cost, we'll put them in the same group," he said.

"It will reflect the approximate cost of these surgeries, which will be more or less the same in public or private hospitals, or even other countries."

"These costs would cover the whole medical procedure, including doctors' and hospitalization fees," he said, while adding that it would provide an objective standard.

Fung also said insurers have been positive about the pricing system.

"When we have a clear and comprehensive standard about how prices are set, insurers can be more certain in designing insurance products," he said. "I've reached out to the insurance sector and they were positive about our plan."

He hopes the package prices can allow insurers to come up with more flexible health-care insurance packages for the Voluntary Health Insurance Scheme.

Through this, citizens may have more confidence with their insurance plans and opt for suitable ones that cater to their needs, which would help divert patients to private medical institutions and ease the burden on public hospitals amid the aging population.

The university's private teaching hospital is the first of its kind in the SAR.

It is solely owned and operated by the university's medical school.

The hospital, located within the university's campus next to the University MTR station, will provide 606 beds.

Last year, then associate dean of the medical school Justin Wu Che-yuen said the medical institution will be developed into a smart hospital, collaborating with IT companies to adopt an electronic system for storing patients' records.

He expects the medical center to become Hong Kong's largest private hospital in 10 years' time.

jane.cheung@singtaonewscorp.com

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