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February 2000

Right to know your fees

By Larry Chan

Medical profession - commercialism in medicine

Article from the same section:
Prejudice against mainlanders - Breaking down the barriers

Under the current Professional Code and Practice, information about doctors is not readily available.

Some patients may not have any idea of how the doctors charge them.

According to Dr. Lo Wing Lok, the vice-president of the Hong Kong Medical Association, doctors can merely tell how much a basic check-up is.

However, on some occasions, a patient may suffer from more than one disease and require further check-ups.

“Even for the same disease, it may be cured by different treatments and thus different medicines are used. Therefore, patients may be charged different fees for the same disease,” said Dr. Lo.

In other words, doctors are not able to tell patients the exact amount of fees before consultation.

However, patients have the right to ask the charge beforehand.

“Educating patients is extremely important,” said Ms Lau Sau Han of the Society for Community Organization.

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