Under the influence of the epidemic and the new crown, many grassroots elders desperately need Chinese medicine services, but the lack of public Chinese medicine services leaves poor elders with nowhere to seek medical treatment.
A survey conducted by the Association of Community Organizations and the Elderly Rights Alliance at the beginning of the year found that 60% of grassroots elders consulted traditional Chinese medicine 2.7 times a month and spent an average of 637 yuan per month on consultation fees and 378 yuan on self-purchased medicines. 91% of grassroots elders were due to Delay in seeking medical treatment due to economic capacity.
In addition, the survey found that 36% of the elderly had spent more than RMB 1,000 in a single drug purchase.
The Social Association and Lao Quan urged the authorities to immediately increase the number of TCM clinics and consultation places, and adjust the fee to 50 yuan to match that of the Hospital Authority.
Grassroots elders have been suffering for many years, and faced strain and long-term illnesses in their old age. In recent years, they have suffered more from the epidemic and the new crown.
The Social Association and Laoquan interviewed 149 grassroots elders in February 2022. The survey results showed that 60% of the elders who had seen Chinese medicine in the past three months considered at that time accounted for 8.3 times on average, that is, 2 to 3 times a month. Second-rate.
10% (12%) of the elders choose Chinese medicine as the main way of seeking medical treatment, and 65% of the elders (65%) prefer Chinese medicine as the main supplementary medical treatment.
Elderly spends thousands of dollars per month to visit Chinese medicine and buy Chinese medicine
In terms of expenditure, the elderly respondents visited an average of 6.5 consultations every three months and cost RMB 294 each time. The estimated monthly expenditure was RMB 637.
In addition, in terms of purchasing Chinese medicine at their own expense, the elderly spend an average of 378 yuan a month. If the elderly seek medical treatment and purchase Chinese medicine supplements at the same time, the monthly expenditure will exceed 1,000 yuan.
In the survey, the elderly are all grassroots. 43% of the elderly’s income comes from comprehensive social security assistance, and 38% of the elderly’s income comes from the high elderly living allowance. The living expenses are less than 4,000 yuan per month.
More than 90% (91%) of the grassroots elders said that financial pressure would prevent them from seeing Chinese medicine.
The policy address announces policies and measures to improve people's livelihood▼
At present, the Hospital Authority has set up TCM teaching and research centers in 18 districts in Hong Kong to provide subsidized TCM services. Citizens receiving CSSA receive free services. On the surface, grassroots citizens have been protected by TCM.
However, the survey found that there are huge deficiencies in this service. Only less than 40% (39%) of the citizens know about subsidized Chinese medicine services. Because the clinic has some self-pay services, many elderly people mistakenly think that the clinic needs to charge fees.
Eight grown-ups have difficulty making appointments to sponsor Chinese medicine practitioners
In terms of appointment services, 80% of the grassroots elders said it was difficult (53%) or difficult (30%) to make appointments for government-funded Chinese medicine services, and nine of the elders thought that there was a shortage of places (30%) or a very short supply (61%). There is no central appointment system or hotline, and clinics in different districts have different ways of making appointments. Some even require the elderly to line up in person to make an appointment in the early morning, which is exhausting.
Grassroots elders lack education in traditional Chinese medicine, and they often throw medicine stones indiscriminately. There are even unscrupulous businessmen defrauding money and abusing medical vouchers.
According to the survey, 40% (37%) of the elders have no way to acquire knowledge of Chinese medicine, the majority of elders get their knowledge of Chinese medicine from sharing with relatives and friends (43%), and only 1% of the elders get their knowledge of Chinese medicine from professional books (3%) or attend lectures on Chinese medicine (2%) Or obtain more credible knowledge of traditional Chinese medicine from professional Chinese medicine practitioners (9%).
▼On December 19, the government announced the "Primary Medical and Health Blueprint"▼
Social Association: Chinese medicine fees adjusted to $50
The Social Association and Lao Quan believe that it is necessary to increase the number of clinics and the number of consultation places, and at the same time strengthen the treatment density as needed, so as to further improve Chinese medicine services in the face of an aging population.
At the same time, the fee must be adjusted to 50 yuan, which is in line with that of the Hospital Authority's outpatient service. An exemption mechanism must also be introduced to benefit other low-income families.
At the same time, they urged the government to strengthen overall planning and management, and establish a unified and transparent system, such as standardizing the appointment hotlines and methods, opening hours, drug lists, demand distribution, follow-up and referral systems, etc. Patients can use government-funded TCM services more clearly and equitably.
At the same time, the scope of Chinese medicine services will be expanded to complement mainstream services, and resources will be added for the long-term development of Chinese medicine in Hong Kong.
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