HA launches colon assessment PPP programme

The following is issued on behalf of the Hospital Authority:
     To cater for the growing demand for colon assessment, the Hospital Authority (HA) has launched the Colon Assessment Public-Private Partnership Programme to provide a subsidy for eligible patients to receive related services from private specialists. Participating patients will enjoy more choices and a shorter waiting time for colonoscopy.
     Speaking at the press conference today (November 24), the HA Director (Cluster Services), Dr Cheung Wai-lun, said that under the Programme patients can choose one participating private specialist from the list for related services which include clinical assessment, colonoscopy and explanation of results. The doctors, as and when necessary, may also perform polypectomy, send tissue specimens for histopathology examination and arrange follow-up with the patients.
     The HA will offer a one-off fixed subsidy of $6,800 (without polypectomy) or $7,500 (with polypectomy) to each patient. The patient will only need to bear a co-payment from $1,000 to $2,000 (the exact amount payable depends on the additional fees charged by the respective private doctor). For recipients of Comprehensive Social Security Assistance and holders of valid full medical fee waiver certificate, their co-payment of $1,000 will be borne by the HA.
     "To enroll into the Programme, patients must be currently on the waiting list for colonoscopy in public hospitals, classified as stable cases, and fit for home bowel preparation and colonoscopy under ambulatory setting. Starting next month (December), the HA will issue invitation letters to eligible patients in batches according to their registered waiting time for colonoscopy and clinical condition, and they do not need to apply by themselves," Dr Cheung said.
     Invited patients then need to make appointment to undergo assessment in designated HA clinics and submit the enrollment form. They also need to join the Electronic Health Record Sharing System so that their medical records and investigation results can be shared between the HA and private doctors.

     "The HA performs about 50 000 colonoscopies each year. Various measures have already been implemented to cope with the increasing service demand, such as adding more endoscopy sessions and arranging staff to work overtime on a voluntary basis through the Special Honorarium Scheme. We hope that by utilising the service capacity in the private sector, the Programme will offer choices to patients so that they can receive colonoscopy and appropriate treatment as early as possible.
     "A total of 8 000 invitations will be sent out to eligible patients in 2016/17 and 2017/18 and it is estimated that around 1 800 patients will be interested to join the Programme. The HA will conduct a review for the Programme and consider whether to increase patient quotas based on the results," Dr Cheung said.
     Patients can look up the latest list of private specialists and their charges on the website designated for the Programme (www.ha.org.hk/ppp/colonppp). They may also call 2300 7600 for Programme details.

Ends/Thursday, November 24, 2016
Issued at HKT 18:10