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Healthcare - Public & Private at same time?

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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Feb 2022
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    5

    Healthcare - Public & Private at same time?

    Hi, I have just been diagnosed in the private system with a chronic condition, the drugs that my doctor recommends I take are eye waveringly expensive (>HKD13,000 per month), and it seems for the best clinical outcome I do not have a choice but to take them. I have private health insurance through my job, but prescription medication limit is HKD30,000 per year.

    I want to keep seeing my existing private doctors and in the event i need to be hospitalised I want to be able to go private (which my insurance will cover).

    Is it feasible to continue to see the private doctor year round, but get into the public system so i can get the subsidised drugs? I pay tax in HK, HKID card holder, so am eligible. Any downsides to this? My only reason for going public is the drug cost, if I could pay for regular doctor visits, tests and scans private, I am happy to do so.

    MrSapSap likes this.

  2. #2

    There is no downside to it. If the same medicine is available in the public system, it will save you a TON! But if it is not a urgent illness, you may very likely wait for a couple of years for your doctor's appointment and get the medicine through the public system.

    shri, aw451, MrSapSap and 2 others like this.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Dec 2002
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    Have you checked with your local pharmacy / chemist what the cost of the drugs is? Quite often there are generics available and drugs supplied by the doctors are overpriced.


  4. #4

    Join Date
    May 2013
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    If there's the slightest possibility you could be hospitalized with a condition, it won't take years to see a public system specialist. You will need to see the public doctor each time you need to refill, of course, but that's just time rather than money, and it won't be every month for visits, but more spaced apart.

    shri, MujiMan and z754103 like this.

  5. #5
    I think that I ought to point out that **EXPENSIVE** medicines are not "free" but the user HAS to pay - if not ALL the co$ts - but a large % of the cost.

    As for myself, I'm "immune" to these co$ts as my wife's benefits also include *me*, and all she has to do is to fill in a form and my expensive diabetic tablets, which form part of my prescription, is charged nothing.

    Mind you, it helps that my lovely wife climbed high in the HK Civil Service before retiring, and got this benefit for both of us.





  6. #6

    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    687

    this is the current waiting time at the gov't out patient clinics. see if you can get a gp to give you a referal so you can be added to the waitilist

    https://www.ha.org.hk/visitor/ha_vis...tent_ID=214197

    MujiMan likes this.
    Have a GeoExpat related problem - please create a support ticket.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Jan 2018
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    Taiwan and sometimes HK
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    5,374
    Quote Originally Posted by shri:
    Have you checked with your local pharmacy / chemist what the cost of the drugs is? Quite often there are generics available and drugs supplied by the doctors are overpriced.
    This- also even the name brand are cheaper. I don't know how things have been since the pandemic and no mainlanders buying drugs but there are/were an unbelievable number of choices in Mong Kok. Bring the box/print out the drug name (Chinese/English, also name of preferred brand) to avoid any discussions or confusion.
    MujiMan and dboldie like this.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Jan 2018
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    This is where I am unbelievably impressed with the TW system- direct booking of specialist, can even do same day appointments if you book in the morning for an evening appt (yes, evenings and even weekends are a thing here). Had to see a dermatologist for an injection of steroid into my lip (to erode scar tissue from a bad fall involving stitches). He has hours from 6-8:30 PM, Wed. nights. When I got there, the patient list was posted (usually electronically but this list was too long for that). He was seeing 87 patients in 2.5 hours. Super efficient, nurses process everyone through quickly and efficiently and I didn't feel rushed at all. Copay around 11 dollars US. They are not screwing around in TW.


  9. #9

    Join Date
    Dec 2002
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    Almost any local pharmacy or if in doubt, Fanda in Central. No need to down dark alleys in Mongkok.

    MujiMan likes this.

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Jan 2018
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    Taiwan and sometimes HK
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    Quote Originally Posted by shri:
    Almost any local pharmacy or if in doubt, Fanda in Central. No need to down dark alleys in Mongkok.
    Yes Fanda is good but Mong Kok often cheaper- and they are on the main streets!! Not dark alleys...dark alleys are for when you want tiger penis and pangolin scales.
    Cheeky Kiwi, MujiMan, hike and 2 others like this.

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