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Not all private clinics suited for Chas and PG scheme

Whether private clinics accept Pioneer Generation (PG) or Community Health Assist Scheme (Chas) cards is a commercial decision (Make all private clinics accept PG and Chas cards by Mr Dun Fashe; March 4).

In a free-market economy, the Government cannot require them to do so, as it would constitute interfering in their business model.

There are several other reasons why not all private clinics should be made to join the schemes.

First, not all clinics cater to general illnesses. For instance, there are those whose core business is aesthetics or skin care rather than general medicine.

Second, popular clinics are already so busy. Coming under the PG scheme or Chas would mean more time needed for administrative work. The time could have been channelled towards more productive consultations.

Third, Ministry of Health procedures tend to change very often. Clinics which commit any lapses, even though they may be unintended, would be subjected to inquiries or even disciplinary action.

All private clinics are good clinics. We must adopt this mindset and give ourselves more choices, instead of adhering to just one clinic.

If a clinic is not under the schemes and is more costly, then patients can consider alternatives.

Still, clinics that are not under the schemes could explore the idea of seeing Chas and PG patients on selected weekdays when they are not so busy.

Francis Cheng

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on March 12, 2017, with the headline 'Not all private clinics suited for Chas and PG scheme'. Print Edition | Subscribe