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Macau | Debate on universal health insurance system moving forward - AL

Proposal to debate the creation of a universal health insurance system for Macau SAR residents by Legislator Song Pek Pei approved at AL on Wednesday

Macau (MNA) – A request for debate about the creation of a universal health insurance system for Macau SAR residents proposed on Wednesday by Legislator Song Pek Pei was approved in a plenary session at the Legislative Assembly (AL).

In her address to the plenary, Ms. Song raised several problems about the current health system in practice in the city to justify the need for discussing the implementation of a universal regime.

“The society has never trusted the health system in Macau, with one of the reasons being the quality of services offered while the existing facilities do not satisfy the increasing needs of the population,” she said opening her address.

Among the problems raised by the legislator feature the long wait for consultation, the weak level of medical specialists in the city, as well as the quality of medical care, which the legislator categorized as “unsatisfactory.”

“Many residents are not covered by health insurance,” Ms. Song argued, noting additionally that health vouchers can only function as a short-term temporary measure.

In reply to Ms. Song’s reference to other universal health system models operating in England, France, Russia, Singapore, and Taiwan, legislator Chan Iek Lao pointed out that not all regions should implement such system.

Citing the case of Taiwan, in which the rate of medical visitations by residents is nearly ten times higher than in the MSAR (at 1,9 per cent per resident), he argued that such types of system might encourage abuse on the part of users.