The charging arrangement of private doctors for “Non-eligible Persons” prescribed with COVID-19 oral drugs


     A Government spokesperson today (December 31) said that following the adjustments of local anti-epidemic measures announced earlier, the Department of Health (DH) has issued letter to private doctors who have registered under the Electronic Health Record Sharing System (eHRSS), reminding them that if the two COVID-19 oral drugs obtained from the Government, namely Paxlovid and Molnupiravir, are prescribed to “Non-eligible Persons” (NEP), private doctors are required to collect the drug cost on behalf of the Government.

     The Government has announced earlier that in order to ensure the efficient utilisation of resources and to improve its handling capacities, “Eligible Persons” (EP) who are infected will have the priority to receive medical services and drugs procured by the Government. As private medical institutions can now order the two COVID-19 oral drugs directly from drug manufacturers, non-eligible COVID-19 patients should receive treatment and prescribed relevant drugs from private medical institutions directly. If private hospitals and clinics prescribe the COVID-19 oral drugs allocated by the DH and the Hospital Authority (HA) to the NEP, they are required to collect the drug fee on behalf of the Government in accordance with the established mechanism. The fee for each course of the treatment is over $6,000.

     The Government urges private hospitals and clinics again to provide medical services to patients, in order to alleviate the load on the public healthcare system. At present, 634 private doctors have registered with the eHRSS to obtain the COVID-19 oral drugs allocated by the DH for managing COVID-19 cases. Needy eligible COVID-19 confirmed patients could consult the private doctors and be prescribed with the oral drugs provided by the Government for free.

     The spokesperson emphasised that there is sufficient stock of drugs in the public healthcare system for prescription to COVID-19 patients. The Government will ensure that there are sufficient medical resources for meeting the local needs. The DH and the HA will continue to increase their procurement volumes and streamline the drug distribution arrangement, as well as closely monitor the situation of prescribing the oral drugs to patients via private doctors.