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Bowtie’s Mission to Relieve Hong Kong Patients from Years-long Waiting Times

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Bowtie helps Hongkongers to access quality private healthcare services

HONG KONG SAR 22 February 2023 – Hong Kong’s public health care system has always been top-of-mind for the city’s residents because of its lower cost, especially those seeing specialist doctors. However, given the shortage of specialist doctors, the waiting times for specialist doctors may go up to 4 years, as reported by Hospital Authority. In view of the overloaded public healthcare system, Bowtie is committed to helping Hongkongers gain access to quality private healthcare services.

Waiting time for specialist outpatient clinics and surgery is up to 4 years

In Hong Kong, the longest waiting time for Eye Specialists can be up to 224 weeks. For specialist care in Medicine, Surgery, Orthopaedics & Traumatology, and Psychiatry, the longest waiting time can run up to 122 weeks, 109 weeks, 99 weeks, and 94 weeks respectively.

Be known that the consequences of long waiting times can be severe. Longer waiting time for treatment could lead to a deterioration in treatment outcomes and reduced remission rates. For example, in the context of psychosis treatment, researchers from Centre for Health Economics at University of York have found that longer waiting time is significantly associated with a deterioration in patient outcomes for patients that are in early intervention in psychosis (EIP) care. The deteriorated condition of the patient while waiting is very likely to take longer to recover or will not be reversed at all after a certain amount of time has passed.

Government introduces VHIS to ease pressure on public healthcare system

For years now, the Hong Kong SAR Government has spared no effort to shorten the waiting times for patients to receive specialist care. In order to provide the public with an additional choice of using private healthcare services through hospital insurance and relieve the pressure on the public healthcare system in the long run, the Hong Kong SAR Government launched a government-regulated voluntary health insurance scheme, namely the VHIS, which combines the characteristics of private insurance with strong government regulation.

VHIS was officially implemented by the Health Bureau on 1 April 2019. Under the VHIS, consumers may choose to purchase Standard Plans as offered by the participating insurance companies. All VHIS Standard Plans must meet the benefit requirements prescribed by the scheme, including standardised policy terms and conditions, benefit coverage and benefit amounts.

Keeping premiums low by exempting intermediary commissions

Bowtie was established as Hong Kong’s first virtual insurer after having been approved by the Insurance Authority in December 2018. By harnessing the latest technology, Bowtie offers commission-free products without intermediaries and reduces operating costs. As a result, Bowtie can keep premiums at their lowest while offering the same level of protection, which explains why Bowtie VHIS Standard has the most competitive premium* in the city.

In 2021, Bowtie and Gleneagles Hospital Hong Kong announced their partnership, introducing the first-ever “Medical Insurance + Wellness” Package (Bowtie & Gleneagles Hospital Hong Kong Wellness Package) in Hong Kong.

With the objective of providing a comprehensive healthcare experience to customers, this VHIS rider plan offers customers an affordable Full Reimbursement^ premium medical package, combined with wellness services of their own choice.

* According to the Health Bureau, Bowtie VHIS Standard plan for non-smoking insured aged 0 to 80 is the cheapest in the market, as of 20 March 2022,

‍^ Full reimbursement of selected medical package is subject to the annual benefit limit of VHIS Flexi Plans.

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