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Remarks by the Chairman of HMDAC's Working Group on Health Care Financing on the report of the first stage public consultation on healthcare reform

      Following is a transcript of remarks by the Chairman of the Working Group on Health Care Financing of the Health and Medical Development Advisory Committee, Mr Ronald Arculli, at a stand-up media session on the report of the first stage public consultation on healthcare reform at the West Wing lobby of Central Government Offices today (December 19):

     I just want to say a few words to supplement what the Secretary (for Food and Health) has announced today. As you have heard clearly that there is a need to continue the discussion regarding healthcare reform, from the point of views of different financing options that were placed in the first consultation document. There was no mainstream support for any particular option that was placed before the public. There was also very active discussion in the methodology of raising additional finance. This support was increasing in fractions, just under 50 per cent support in terms of increasing user fees in our public healthcare system. But having said that, there were a number of issues that were raised for discussion like should they need programmes or proposals that are voluntary or mandatory, mandatory received less support than voluntary. Likewise, on risk pooling or savings account, I think those supported risk pooling realised there were clearly possibilities of benefits but there were also views against it. But I think in terms of, say for instance, who should make the contribution, there were views that employers and employees should share the contribution although the employers have reservation about that. But in terms of the work going forward, the healthcare financing working group would obviously continue our work. The challenge is for us to try and derive some proposals to take to the public again in the second round consultation, which we hope to do before the middle of next year.          

Ends/Friday, December 19, 2008
Issued at HKT 20:59


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