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Government to launch Pilot Scheme for Supporting Patients of Hospital Authority in Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area tomorrow
     The Health Bureau announced today (May 9) that the Pilot Scheme for Supporting Patients of the Hospital Authority in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA) will be launched tomorrow (May 10) to enable eligible Hong Kong citizens to receive subsidised consultations at the University of Hong Kong-Shenzhen Hospital (HKU-SZH). The Pilot Scheme will also be conducive to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government's formulation of a more effective approach to support the medical needs of Hong Kong citizens residing in the GBA.  

     To cater for the medical needs of Hospital Authority (HA) patients who were unable to travel back and forth between Hong Kong and the Mainland as usual due to the compulsory quarantine measures implemented during the epidemic, the HKSAR Government launched a special support scheme in November 2020 to commission the HKU-SZH to provide subsidised follow-up consultations for those residing in the GBA and with scheduled appointments for follow-up consultations at designated Specialist Outpatient Clinics (SOPCs) or General Outpatient Clinics (GOPCs) of the HA. This special support scheme ends today. Taking reference from the experience gained from the special support scheme and aiming to offer convenience to Hong Kong citizens who pursue development, live and reside on the Mainland, the Government will launch the Pilot Scheme tomorrow, such that Hong Kong citizens with scheduled follow-up appointments at designated SOPCs or GOPCs of the HA (eligible patients) may continue to receive subsidised consultations at the HKU-SZH.

     Under the Pilot Scheme, eligible patients will be required to pay a consultation fee of RMB100 for each consultation received at the designated outpatient clinic of the HKU-SZH (except for specified persons whose medical fees would be waived upon verification by the HA). The remaining medical fee will then be covered by the Pilot Scheme, subject to a subsidy cap of RMB2,000. To tie in with the operation of the first phase of the Pilot Scheme, the relevant subsidy cap will be valid until March 31 next year. The scope of services under the Pilot Scheme will be the same as that of the special support scheme, covering major SOPC and GOPC services provided by the HA, namely, anaesthesiology (pain clinic only); cardiothoracic surgery; clinical oncology; ear, nose and throat; eye; gynecology; internal medicine; neurosurgery; obstetrics; orthopaedics and traumatology; paediatrics, and surgery. Episodic illnesses, inpatient or day inpatient, as well as Accident and Emergency Department services are not included.

     For current participants of the special support scheme who wish to join the Pilot Scheme, they may submit the request to the HKU-SZH. Arrangement will be made for them to transit to the Pilot Scheme once the necessary procedures are completed. If relevant patients opt not to join the Pilot Scheme and wish to return to Hong Kong for follow-up consultations at the HA's SOPCs or GOPCs, they may also approach the HKU-SZH. The HKU-SZH will refer them back to the corresponding outpatient clinics of the HA for arranging follow-up appointment according to their clinical needs.
     As for eligible patients who have never participated in the special support scheme or those who have joined the special support scheme but need to update their personal information, they may submit their application for the Pilot Scheme to the HKU-SZH from tomorrow onwards.

     Details of the Pilot Scheme are available on the HA's website (www.ha.org.hk/goto/sss/en) or the HKU-SZH's website (www.hku-szh.org/en/index.html). For enquiries, members of the public may call the HA (Tel: 2300 7070; Service hours: 9am - 6pm on Mondays to Fridays, except public holidays) or the HKU-SZH (Tel: (+86) 0755-86913101); Service hours: 8am - 12.30pm and 2pm - 5.30pm on Mondays to Fridays, except public holidays).

     The Pilot Scheme will be helpful for the Government to further analyse and assess the habits of Hong Kong citizens in seeking medical care on the Mainland. The Government will continue to study how the healthcare needs of Hong Kong citizens living on the Mainland, particularly those residing in the GBA, can be addressed in a more effective manner, in a bid to foster further collaboration, integration and co-ordinated development among Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao.
Ends/Tuesday, May 9, 2023
Issued at HKT 17:19
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