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Policy Address

Healthcare Financing

76.       To deal with the threat of human swine influenza, we have deferred the consultation exercise on healthcare financing. The first-stage consultation on healthcare reform reflects a broad community consensus on the need for the Government to address the issue of healthcare financing. However, the public has reservations about any healthcare financing scheme of a mandatory nature.

77.       We are working on a supplementary financing option based on voluntary participation and planning to consult the public on the proposal next year. This option will comprise insurance and savings components, and will be standardised and regulated by the Government. We will also make use of the $50 billion set aside to support healthcare reform to provide subsidies and incentives to encourage members of the public to join the scheme. This option will enable a wider choice of private healthcare services for those who can afford it, in particular those who are covered by health insurance. The new option will ease the burden on the public healthcare system and make it more sustainable. At the same time, we will explore how best to strengthen the public healthcare safety net to offer greater protection to patients who need costly medication and treatment.




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