Lawmakers’ concerns with fees at the Islands hospital

Lawmakers have raised concerns about the medical fees residents will incur if they seek medical services at the Islands District Medical Complex (Islands Hospital).

The topic was raised Monday at the Legislative Assembly (AL) where the Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture, Elsie Ao Ieong, was to present the bill on the management of the Islands Hospital. The hospital will be under the management of the Peking Union Medical College Hospital.

Ao Ieong said that although the hospital will operate in a public-private system and under private administration, the mechanism for the payment of smaller fees or even free health care for residents still exists, as long as the Health Bureau refers these patients to the services of this unit.

Still, she noted that both local and non-local residents who want the new medical unit’s services “are encouraged to acquire medical insurance to be able to receive private medical services hassle-free.”

Ao Ieong said part of the hospital will continue to operate as a public hospital unit under the same model as the Conde de São Januário Hospital Center for general medicine, while other specialized services, such as medical cosmetology, will be operated under a private model. The government will be able to subsidize services the public sector cannot provide but which it considers necessary.

She also noted that through this system, the government aims to save on expenditure currently incurred on forwarding medical cases of patients to be treated abroad.

The Secretary also said the medical complex will recruit as many local residents as possible to integrate the team of this new facility and help others to expand their training and skills.

Ao Ieong said nine specialist physicians have qualified to potentially join the Islands Hospital team. The Union Medical College team will conduct individual interviews next month.

Those who are approved will be trained at the Union Medical College Hospital.

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