Co-care pilot scheme unveiled

September 25, 2023

In an effort to encourage early prevention and the management of chronic diseases, the Government announced today that it will roll out the Chronic Disease Co-Care (CDCC) Pilot Scheme, which is set to be launched in mid-November.


Around 17% of the population aged 45 to 84 have an underlying condition of diabetes mellitus (DM) or hypertension (HT), the Government explained.


Apart from pointing out that eligible Hong Kong residents with no known medical history of DM or HT are eligible to join the scheme, it stated that those eligible will be subsidised by the Government to undergo DM and HT screening by a family doctor of their choice.


Such individuals can also attend doctor consultations and receive laboratory investigations in the private healthcare sector, and, subject to their health conditions, be offered prescribed medication, follow-up care at nurse clinics and allied health services.


Those who are diagnosed with prediabetes, DM or HT will be taken care of by their family doctor with long-term management including medical consultations and drug prescription as clinically indicated.


The CDCC Pilot Scheme will operate on a co-payment model. Government subsidies will be offered during the screening and treatment phases, while participants will have to pay a certain amount of the co-payment fee.


Citizens will pair with a family doctor after completion of registration as a member at any of the 18 District Health Centres (DHCs) and DHC Expresses (DHCEs) and given consent to enrol in the Electronic Health Record Sharing System.


They will then be given a medical consultation by their family doctor who will also arrange laboratory investigations and advise them on the diagnosis afterwards.


During this screening phase, the Government will offer subsidies to cover the laboratory investigation fees in full and the consultation fee at an amount of $196, whereas participants will need to pay a designated co-payment fee of $120.


Participants who are diagnosed as not having any sign of DM or HT upon screening will be aided by the DHC/DHCEs to set health management goals. Arrangements will also be made on a need basis for them to participate in activities to help them adopt a healthier lifestyle for staying in good shape.


As for those who are diagnosed with prediabetes, DM or HT, they will be supported with government subsidies for long-term follow-up by the family doctor they selected.


Participants diagnosed with prediabetes are entitled to a maximum of four subsidised consultation visits per year, while those diagnosed with DM or HT are entitled to a maximum of six subsidised consultation visits per year.


In the treatment phase, the Government will subsidise a consultation fee of $166 for each visit. The co-payment fee charged to the participants will be determined by the family doctors. The Government's recommended co-payment fee is $150 per consultation.


Participants prescribed with drugs on the scheme’s list will not be required to pay for such medication.


The Government has also made arrangements for participating family doctors to purchase drugs on the list from designated drug suppliers at discounted prices.


On top of that, the Government will provide a quarterly drug subsidy to family doctors who have prescribed drugs for chronic diseases on the list at a rate of $105 per participant.


For clinical needs assessed by family doctors during medical consultations, participants will be arranged to receive follow-up services from nurse clinics and allied health.


Additionally, the Government will provide subsidies for such services while participants are required to pay a designated co-payment fee.


Furthermore, family doctors can arrange for participants with clinical needs to undergo laboratory investigations as appropriate. The Government has engaged medical laboratories on the provision of investigation services through tendering, and will subsidise a variety of common laboratory investigation services related to DM or HT.


Depending on clinical diagnosis, the designated co-payment fee to be charged to the participants ranges from $40 to $130 for each test package in general.


People aged 65 or above may settle the co-payment fees with Elderly Health Care Vouchers.


Moreover, the Government has established under the CDCC Pilot Scheme a two-way referral mechanism with the Hospital Authority (HA).


Participants with clinical needs upon assessment by a family doctor will be referred to designated Medicine Specialist Outpatient Clinics (SOPC) of the HA for a one-off medicine specialist medical consultation.


After obtaining clinical advice on care plans from the Medicine SOPC, participants concerned will return to their own family doctor for continuous follow-up.


Click here for more details or call 2157 0500.

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