The hassle for a private patient to downgrade to subsidised treatment, and allowing only patients referred by polyclinics or accident and emergency departments to enjoy such treatment, may have contributed to the persistent overcrowding at these facilities ("Make it easier for private patients to downgrade" by Mr David Kwok Ng Kan; Wednesday).
Most patients would not mind seeking a referral from private medical practitioners for treatment at specialist clinics in government hospitals, if they can easily downgrade to subsidised treatment after their conditions have stabilised, or when they are hospitalised.
This would help to alleviate the overcrowding at polyclinics and accident and emergency departments, and even out the number of private and subsidised patients at specialist clinics, leading to a shorter wait for an appointment.
Ng Chee Kheon
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