In Focus
HEALTHCARE | Staff Reporter, Hong Kong

47% of Hong Kong millennials are unsatisfied with the public health system

37% of older people have the same sentiments.

Nearly all Hong Kong people are worried about their health, with only 20% seeing themselves as "very healthy", a new study has found. The majority of those interviewed in the Medix Medical Monitor study also admitted to being reluctant to question specialists and to relying on friends and family for advice on where to seek a medical investigation or treatment.

Around half of respondents judged their health as "below average" or "just-above average". Cancer is the most worried about disease (79%), followed by stroke (67%), heart attack (46%), illnesses related to the brain (44%) and diabetes (37%). Even so, 63% of respondents do not subject themselves to regular testing to detect and prevent the diseases they worry about. Furthermore, only 37% think the preventive information provided by general practitioners (GPs) is sufficient.

Here's more from Medix Medical Monitor:

There is widespread dissatisfaction with the health system in Hong Kong. Millennials in particular want to see improvements, with 47% of them being "quite unsatisfied" or "very unsatisfied" with the public health system, along with 37% of the older working generation. Overall, only 31% of the respondents said they are satisfied with public healthcare in Hong Kong. Shorter waiting time for specialist consultations and treatments was the top area of concern, identified by 37% of the respondents, 23% would like to see further strengthening and expanding of the public medical system, with 6% also wanting to be able to choose their treating doctor in the public system.

The private health system did not fare much better. Just over half (51%) of respondents are satisfied with the private health system in Hong Kong, although 14% are "quite unsatisfied" or "very unsatisfied". Respondents urged the private medical sector to lower costs (22%) and improve overall transparency (12%).

"Hong Kong's public healthcare system is on par with the best in the world. Public hospitals here adhere to international clinical guidelines and medical standards, with excellent results and the government subsidizing 95% of all medical costs," Sigal Atzmon, president of Medix Group said. "However, we do see room for improvement in enhancing the transparency of the health system, especially in the private sector, where information about clinical outcomes, adverse events and treatment costs is lacking. We support the Hospital Authority and Department of Health to improve supervision and reporting for hospitals in Hong Kong for the well being of patients."

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