Doctor's orders: Protect your health from age 0 to 80 years old!
Everyone knows that we must pay attention to our health, but many people don't care enough about their wellbeing. Maybe you’re too young and think that getting sick doesn't matter? Or you may think that health check-ups and doctors’ visits are too costly. So even if you have minor illnesses or discomforts, you won’t see a doctor because of the expense? If you’ve had similar thoughts before, it’s a good idea to stop and reconsider. Many things in life can be planned, but you can never predict when you’ll get sick. It’s something you can’t control. That’s why we should prepare for health issues and the future earlier.
We're pleased to invite Dr SiNing Zhao, Medical Director of Bupa Hong Kong, to share her professional perspectives on the healthcare landscape in Hong Kong, the health of Hong Kong people and the importance of protecting your health as soon as possible.
1. What kind of healthcare can Hong Kong people expect now? How can everyone be better prepared?
The public medical system in Hong Kong is excellent with professional medical staff. However, it’s been overloaded for a period of time, which has caused long waiting times for patients. Taking a general chronic disease as an example, the waiting time for new cases may be as long as 2 years before seeing a doctor for the first time, and people need to wait 6-12 months for a scheduled surgery.
As for private medical services, the scope of charges varies. Not only are the chance of separated charges for diagnostic tests, hospitalization, operations, attending doctors' visits, medications, miscellaneous items and so on, but also there’s inflation every year, which the charge maybe unpredictable for the general public. For example, for people with critical illnesses such as cancer, cardiovascular disease and stroke—which require surgery, chemotherapy, magnetic resonance imaging, intensive care and so on—daily medical expenses can easily exceed HK$100,000. If treatment lasts for several months, it may cost millions. If you don’t have medical insurance, it’s definitely a huge financial burden. Therefore, everyone should plan ahead and factor healthcare expenses into their budget.
In particular, young people may think that sickness is very unlikely or far off, so they won’t do much planning to manage their health. When they get sick, their condition may already be serious. It’s important to visit doctors and plan earlier. This not only makes treatments more effective, but also helps to avoid economic and mental stress caused by expensive treatments.
2. What health issues should Hong Kong people pay more attention to?
Different age groups have different health problems. For example, people aged 30-40 years old are often focused on achieving professional goals. In addition to a lot of work-related stress, they have to take care of their parents and children at home. They’re beginning to realise the importance of maintaining physical and mental health, so regular health check-ups are recommended. Around the age of 40-50, you should start paying attention to chronic diseases such as diabetes and hypertension. By the age of 50-60, in addition to the increased risk of stroke, heart disease and cancer, you must also be careful of aging joints and pain in areas such as the knees and lower back.
But no matter what age you are, you need to pay attention to mental health. The fast pace of life can be stressful for everyone. Many people are only getting by and don’t freely talk about mental health issues. If stress builds up over a period of time, both your physical and mental health will be affected. Symptoms can include insomnia, where you’re easily tired; weakened resistance, so it’s easy to catch colds and have more frequent gastrointestinal discomforts; as well as feeling anxious, easily losing your temper and even concentration and memory loss, which affect performance at work. In other words, mental health is essential in maintaining overall health.
3. Since physical and mental health are equally important, what good habits can we develop to help maintain overall health?
Firstly, a balanced diet is important, like eating less salt and sugar, less meat, more vegetables and so on. Secondly, develop the habit of exercising. Even during the current epidemic, you must get enough exercise, such as exercising at home with YouTube videos or wearing a mask to go jogging. Thirdly, interact more with relatives and friends online to maintain good mental health. In addition, you should invest in your health as soon as possible, with comprehensive medical protection that fully supports physical and mental health.
The Voluntary Health Insurance Scheme (VHIS) under the Food and Health Bureau was implemented in April 2019. As of the end of September 2019, more than 300,000 eligible insurance policies had been sold. About 33% of the insured persons were under 30 years old and about 50% of the insured persons were under the age of 40, which shows young people are aware of the need for medical protection and getting prepared.1
4. But how do we know if we should purchase a VHIS plan? How can we choose a suitable product?
VHIS is suitable for everyone from age 0 to 80 years old, and the sooner you buy, the better. That’s because when you’re young and in good health, premiums are cheaper and having insurance helps improve your health awareness. For example, many people ignore medical problems and think that regular check-ups and doctors’ visits are costly. Even if they have minor illnesses or discomforts, they’re discouraged by the medical expenses. But if you have a VHIS plan, it can help to reduce medical expenses and you’ll be more willing to get health check-ups, visit the doctor and receive treatment, which will help identify any health problems earlier.
Moreover, because of unhealthy diets, poor work-life balance and stress, many diseases are now occurring at younger ages than in the past. Buying a VHIS plan early is a responsible investment for your health and future. As for how to choose a VHIS plan, in addition to factors such as price and personal needs, the most important thing is whether it offers enough protection. For example, Bupa Hero VHIS Plan is a good choice because it can provide you with comprehensive protection that brings you peace of mind.
5. How does Bupa Hero help you lead a healthy life?
Bupa Hero offers all-inclusive support for both physical and mental health, which can fully protect you and your loved ones. Key features include:
5-star professional evaluation
Bupa Hero was rated as the No. 1 high-end medical insurance (semi-private room) and No. 1 high-end VHIS product (private room) with a 10Life2 rating of 10/10. It provides annual coverage of up to HK$30 million, fully covering eligible medical expenses.
Comprehensive protection in Hong Kong and overseas
The place of medical treatment isn’t limited to Hong Kong, but also includes Asia, Australia and New Zealand. Bupa Hero offers full cover for eligible cancer surgery and treatment expenses (such as chemotherapy, targeted therapy and so on) as well as coverage for other severe and common diseases (such as stroke, kidney failure, cataract and more).
Flexible optional benefits
This plan provides a variety of optional benefits, allowing you to easily tailor your plan to suit your needs. The Clinical Benefit fully covers eligible outpatient expenses for general practitioners, specialists, physiotherapy, Chinese medicine, chiropractors and psychiatric-related treatments.
Comprehensive support for mental health
Bupa Hero provides the first mental health clinical network in Hong Kong. Through a new 24-hour mental health hotline, qualified counselors provide free mental support. If necessary, face-to-face counseling can be arranged. In addition, it includes full cover for eligible inpatient psychiatric treatment expenses in Asia, Australia and New Zealand.
Various health support services
For example, Bupa provides a 24-hour customer service hotline and an AI service ambassador via a WhatsApp chatbot to help answer policy questions. With Bupa’s newly launched video consultation service, eligible members can stay at home and consult a doctor through a video consultation via designed network provider. Afterwards any prescribed medication, referral letter and sick leave certificate will be delivered directly to their home by courier.
What’s more, Bupa Hero provides additional health check-ups (Deluxe Plan only), expert advice for second medical opinions, a medical card for cashless treatment and so on. A wide variety of medical support allows Bupa Hero to provide customers with more comprehensive protection. (Original article (Traditional Chinese version only) published at: Yahoo! X BetterMe website www.betterme-magazine.com )
2 Insurance ratings are provided by 10Life (www.10Life.com/ratings) for reference only. Bupa does not provide any compensation (such as commissions or referral fees) to 10Life for ratings or related insurance sales activities. 10Life insurance ratings do not take into account your personal goals, financial situation and needs. This information is for general educational and reference purposes only and does not constitute any recommendation to purchase insurance products. Consumers are advised to should go through the suitability assessment with a Bupa Health Management Consultant before applying for insurance that will suit their needs.
(Original article (Traditional Chinese version only) published at: Yahoo! X BetterMe website www.betterme-magazine.com )
The above summary of our insurance products is for reference only. It is not, and does not form part of, a contract of insurance and is designed to provide an overview of the key features of these products.
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