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Public and private hospital care

There are increasing demands on Hong Kong's public healthcare services. And private hospital costs can be very high. That's why it's important for everyone to prepare in advance for unexpected medical expenses at any age.

Let's use colorectal cancer as an example. It's one of the most common cancers in Hong Kong. In 2016, there were a total of 5,437 new cases1.

Colorectal cancer is also the second deadliest cancer in Hong Kong2. And it's affecting a greater percentage of younger people every year. From 2007 to 2016, the number of newly diagnosed cases in people aged 45-64 increased by 32.9%3.

Getting treated in public hospitals

In the public hospital system, for certain treatments, and depending on your medical situation, you may need to wait at least 1 year for consultation at specialist outpatient clinics or to receive an MRI scan. And that doesn't include the waiting time to receive treatment afterwards!

public and private care timeline

Colonoscopy

 

Longest waiting time for stable cases at specialist outpatient clinics:

Up to 79 weeks4,5

Further examination

 

Longest waiting time to receive an MRI scan:

Up to 364 days4,6

Colorectal cancer treatment

 

Longest waiting time to receive treatment after diagnosis:

Up to 78 days4,7

Public and Private Timeline
Colonoscopy
 
Longest waiting time for stable cases at specialist outpatient clinics: Up to 79 weeks4,5
Further examination
 
Longest waiting time to receive an MRI scan: Up to 364 days4,6
Colorectal cancer treatment
 
Longest waiting time to receive treatment after diagnosis: Up to 78 days4,7

Accessing medical care in private hospitals

If you go to a private hospital, you can get appointments and treatments more quickly. But you need to be aware of the potential costs as medical expenses continue to increase by 6-13%8 per year.

public and private care timeline

Colonoscopy

 

Cost of day surgery:

Ranges from HK$10,623 to HK$28,5699

Further examination

 

Cost of MRI scan:

Ranges from HK$9,000 to HK$15,00010

Colorectal cancer treatment

 

Cost of colectomy:

Ranges from HK$105,708 to HK$213,37511



Notes
  1. Source: Hong Kong Cancer Registry, Hospital Authority – Hong Kong Cancer Statistics 2016.
  2. Source: Hong Kong Cancer Registry, Hospital Authority – Mortality of Top Ten Cancers 2016.
  3. Source: Hong Kong Cancer Registry, Hospital Authority – Hong Kong Cancer Statistics 2007 to 2016.
  4. Longest waiting time refers to the waiting time at the 90th percentile.
  5. Source: Hospital Authority – Average longest waiting time for stable cases at surgery outpatient clinics in various hospital clusters in 2018.
  6. Source: Hospital Authority – Average longest waiting time for MRI scans in various hospital clusters in 2014-2015.
  7. Source: Hospital Authority – Longest waiting time for patients to receive first treatment after colorectal cancer is diagnosed in 2016-17.
  8. Source: The Hong Kong Federation of Insurers – Medical Claims Statistics 2015.
  9. Source: Median costs of colonoscopy and / or polypectomy (day surgery) as published on the websites of the 12 Hong Kong private hospitals (if available).
  10. Source: General costs of outpatient abdomen and / or pelvis MRI with contrast as published on the websites of the 12 Hong Kong private hospitals (if available).
  11. Source: Median costs of colectomy (open) as published on the websites of the 12 Hong Kong private hospitals (if available).
Public and Private Timeline
Colonoscopy

 
Cost of day surgery:
Ranges from HK$10,623 to HK$28,5699
Further examination
 
Cost of MRI scan:
Ranges from HK$9,100 to HK$14,29010
Colorectal cancer treatment
 
Cost of colectomy:
Ranges from HK$105,708 to HK$213,37511

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