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Public Private Partnership - Australia (30 Jan 2008)

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First Episode: Public Private Partnership - Australia;Countries around the world have different health care systems. They are such as individual medical savings accounts and private health insurance to cover the costs and tax-financed free health services;In a way, the systems of Hong Kong and Australia are very similar and both belong to the latter. What sets Australia apart, is that it confines doctors to drug prescription other than dispensing and offers rebates on premiums to encourage residents to take out private health insurance;The Australian health care system is called Medicare, which was re-introduced in 1984. It is jointly funded by the Commonwealth and the States and Territory governments for the purpose of providing affordable and quality health care to all Australians. The finance is mainly from Medicare Levy and other taxes. The States and Territory governments also manage the operation;Under the Medicare scheme, Australians can receive free medical treatment from general practitioners and public hospitals, or they can be admitted to public or private hospitals as private patients at their own cost and choose their own doctors;In order to encourage high-income earners to take out private health insurance, the government offers a 30% rebate to those who do so. If the annual income is above AUD50,000 for a single and without private health insurance, he/she needs to pay an additional 1% of taxable income as Medicare Levy Surcharge;Patients in Australia have to buy the prescribed medicines at registered pharmacies. Under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, patients are required to make a co-payment for the medicines listed. For those medicines that are not listed, they have to pay out-of-pocket. If an individual or the family ’ s co-payment on drugs reaches the safety net threshold, then the patient can purchase the drugs subsidized by the government at a concessionary rate or even free-of-charge;Soon, the Hong Kong government is going to experiment a similar public and private health care complementary system in Tin Shui Wai. The government will purchase health care services from private clinics and refer chronically ill patients to receive treatment there. Patients will only need to pay the same fee as in general outpatient clinics. We ’ ll soon find out whether this complementary system is feasible in Hong Kong;Producer: Sidney Wong

Program: 
Health Care Across Borders
Publish Date: 
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
Station: 
RTHK
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