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首页 > 媒体报道 > 《香港南华早报》:中国机构的有偿海外医疗服务

《香港南华早报》:中国机构的有偿海外医疗服务

发布日期:2016-05-04  浏览次数:

  本文是《香港南华早报》文章,原文是英文版,杭州五舟庞经理整理翻译,原文作者严婷。
 


        越来越多的中国大陆患者在寻求海外一流的医疗服务,他们大多会一次付清所有医疗费用。
 

        对于中国患者而言, 美国是医疗费用最贵的,也是他们最愿意前往寻求医疗服务的目的地之一。
 

       自从她的女儿在九年前被诊断患有癫痫之后,杨蕾,一位来自内蒙古的母亲,第一次对于她女儿的影像学检查结果有了一个清楚的认识,而这些,都要归功于日本医生对这些检查结果的详尽解释。这个结论是在对比了该患者在大陆无数医院进行的就诊之后得出的。其中包括位于北京、上海和广州等地的国内最好的医院。
 

        杨蕾有时预约的还是专家会诊,但是这些医生们花在会诊中的时间还是只有短短的几分钟。“在接下来数年的治疗时间里,我女儿每天仍旧出现数次小型发作,这意味着她的生活不能自理。”杨蕾说,“国内的顶尖大夫告诉我们说,根本没有任何的治疗方案可以改善她的状况。”但是在今年年初,杨蕾发现对于癫痫的治疗,在日本和美国医院更先进,这又使她们重新燃起了希望。
 

        随后,在一家出国就医服务机构的帮助下,杨蕾于五月中旬在东京国立神经和精神中心为其九岁的女儿成功预约了诊疗。在该中心,她女儿进行了全面的检查并开具了治疗药物。该患者的家人还会在六月中旬再次去日本这家医院就诊,以确定其是否可以进行手术治疗。随着大陆越来越富裕并且和国外的交流越来越多,有更多像杨蕾一样的患者家属选择向海外寻求更好的医疗服务。
 

        坐落在风景秀丽的西子湖畔的杭州五舟医院管理有限公司,旨在为其客户提供前往位于诸如美国、日本、德国、英国和丹麦等国家的最顶级医疗机构进行诊治的机会。该公司的负责人表示,公司的客户可以去海外医疗机构享受更高级的医疗技术和服务。
 

        在诸多类型的患者中,癌症患者的数量是最多的。根据位于北京的国家癌症预防和研究中心的调查,中国癌症患者的五年生存率是30%,是美国癌症患者五年生存率的一半。
 

       “对于海外医疗机构而言,介绍大陆的患者去海外医院进行诊治,无疑是一项善举。”厚朴诺亚健康管理(北京)有限公司的董事长王钢说。在过去的几年里,该公司的业务以每年一点五倍的速度增长。在今年四月,与该公司签约的新客户几乎达到了60个。该公司在最初的一周会收取服务费98,000元人民币(约合港元124,000),服务包括:预约海外医疗机构、翻译患者病历、申请签证、安排机场接送、提供患者食宿和陪护等等。然后每周再收取30,000元。厚朴方舟公司的客户大多数都是寻求海外治疗的重症患者,例如癌症和心脏病。
 

        但是,杭州五舟医院管理有限公司的负责人解释说,还有一部分患者寻求的是海外的先进药物,而这些药物因为繁琐的审批程序,在中国国内还需要将近10年在能上市。他说,他的公司有很多丙肝患者前往美国接受口服药物治疗,这些药物的治愈率可以达到90%。而中国的医生仍然在依赖包括干扰素在内的传统治疗方法(这些方法能够引起多种不良反应)来治疗患者。
 


 

        相比中国紧张的医疗资源和劳累过度的医护工作者,海外医疗的其他有利因素还包括:更人性化的服务理念和量身定制的医疗内容。
 

        杨蕾说,日本的医院给她留下了一个很好的印象:“那里的医生和护士真正关心的是我们的状况,我觉得他们非常希望我的女儿能够康复。”她说,在那里进行诊治的费用并不比在国内高多少。在日本,一次影像学检查花费了30,000日元,而这些花费与其女儿在广州的一家大型医院的检查费用相当。
 

        杭州五舟医院管理有限公司负责人说,业内的竞争非常激烈,近几年出现了几十家新公司,尤其是那些由预感到该产业增长潜力的资本市场所助阵的海外就医服务机构。据中国商业新闻报道,一家叫做红杉资本的风险投资公司,去年投资千万元给一家位于北京的咨询机构-盛诺一家医院管理有限公司。与厚朴方舟的动态增长相比,杭州五舟医院管理有限公司客户增长相对缓慢,从其2013年末组建之日起,每月仅有3到4位新的客户。
 

        根据位于上海的瑞弗健康管理公司的总经理周吉朝的评述,他的公司在开业之初也受到了相似的冷落。他说,两年前他公司开业的时候,人们的反应比他的预期要冷淡得多。这可能是因为人们对于海外医疗机构能否提供更好的医疗服务还不甚了解。
 

        这三家海外医疗服务机构都与美国和日本的顶级医院结成了伙伴关系,比如波士顿麻省总医院、休斯顿MD安德森癌症中心和位于东京的日本癌研有明医院。波士顿环球杂志引用麻省总医院前任外科专家安德鲁·瓦尔肖的话说,去年麻省总医院有将近100位中国患者,这个数是2011年的10倍。这位专家是该医院国际部的主任。这三家机构表示,几乎所有大陆患者进行海外医疗都是自己掏腰包,因为国际医疗商业保险在中国还很不完善。
 

        但是海外医疗也并非没有风险。中国中央电视台曾报道一则事实,一家当地机构对一位患有眼睛疾病的山东籍患者索要60万元人民币,以帮助其联系美国的医院和翻译他的病历。该机构后来又要求这位患者汇款1000万元人民币作为“治疗费用”,并且告诉这位患者说他的病在那家医院可以得到根治。该患者意识到这是个骗局就没有进行第二次付款。按照惯例,海外医疗服务机构并不经手医疗费用,患者应该将其费用直接汇给海外医院。
 

        北京肿瘤医院的于文兵大夫说,经济条件好的患者寻求海外医疗是件好事,因为这样可以有助于减轻大陆顶级医院医生的工作压力。根据中央人民广播电台新闻网的估计,每天大概有70万外地患者涌入北京寻医求药。“我应该指出,中国顶级的医院与海外著名的医疗中心有着紧密的联系,能力差异(中国和世界之间)也非常微小”于先生说,“就外科技术而言,中国大夫的水平比国外同行似乎略胜一筹,因为他们得到的训练相对更多一些”。
 

        来自于上海华山医院的黄若凡先生表示同意上述观点,他说,海外医疗的唯一优势就是所接受到的治疗来自于业内全球知名的最好医生。“我怀疑海外医疗服务机构是否知道哪些医生是顶级的,我还觉得他们可能根本联系不到那些顶级专家”他说。

 


 

英文原版如下:

A cut above: Chinese agencies offer overseas medical treatment - for a price

More mainland patients are paying up and heading offshore in search of top-notch hospital services

The United Statesis a popular destination among Chinese patients willing to pay for medical care overseas. Photo: AP
 

For the first time sinceher daughter was diagnosed with epilepsy nine years ago, Yang Lei, from Inner Mongolia, had a clear understanding of the girl’sradiology results after they were carefully explained to her by Japanesedoctor.
 

The scenario is in contrast to her numerous visits tomainland hospitals, including some of the country’s best in Beijing,Shanghai and Guangzhou. Yang sometimes booked VIPconsultations, but still the doctors spent just a few minutes with her.
 

“Following years of treatment, my daughter still sufferedseveral minor seizures a day which meant she can’t take care of herself,” Yangsaid. “The mainland’s elite doctors told us that there was no further treatmentto improve her condition.”
 

At the beginning of this year, however, she discoveredthat epilepsy treatment was more advanced inJapanand theUnited States,which rekindled her hope. Through the help of a medical services agency, Yangmade an appointment for her nine-year-old daughter at the National Centre ofNeurology and Psychiatry in Tokyoin mid-May.
 

The girl had a thorough examination and was prescribeddrugs. The family will return toJapanin mid-June to see if shequalifies for surgery.
 

As the mainland becomes more affluent and has morecontact with the outside world, more people like Yang are heading abroad forbetter medical treatmen.
 

The Wuzhou Hospital Management Company, based in Hangzhou, arranges treatment for clients in the US,Japan,Germany,BritainandDenmark. Fan Yuexin, the company’sfounder, said clients went overseas for superior medical technology andservices.
 

One area of high demand has been among cancer patients.According to the National Cancer Prevention and Research Centre in Beijing, thefive-year survival rate of Chinese patients is 30 per cent, half that ofpatients in the US.
 

This had been a boon to agents who introduced mainlandpatients to foreign hospitals and clinics, said Wang Gang, president of theHope Noah Company in Beijing.
 

The company’s business has grown by half annually in thepast few years, and in April they signed contracts with nearly 60 new clients.
 

The company charges 98,000 yuan (HK$124,000) for itsfirst week of service which includes booking appointments with overseashospitals, translating medical records, applying for visas, arranging airportpickups, providing accommodation and accompanying patients. They charge 30,000yuan per week thereafter.
 

Most of Hope Noah’s clients are seeking treatment forserious conditions such as cancer or heart disease. But other patients wereheading offshore for advanced pharmaceuticals that were still a decade awayfrom approval for sale inChinadue to government red tape, Fan said.
 

“A lot of my clients with hepatitis C go to theUSto getorally administered drugs that are believed to offer a 90 per cent chance of acure. Chinese doctors still rely on the traditional method involving interferons[which have multiple side-effects],” he said.
 

Other drawcards were a more “humane” level of service andtailored medical treatments, in contrast toChina’s cramped hospitals andoverworked medical staff.
 

Yang said the Japanese hospital left her with a goodimpression. “Doctors and nurses there really care for us and I think theydeeply hope my girl can recover.”
 

She said the cost there was not that much more than athome. One radiology test cost about 30,000 yuan inJapan,on par with one her daughter took at a major hospital in Guangzhou.
 

Fan said competition within the sector was fierce, withdozens of newcomers emerging in recent years, especially fuelled by capitalmarkets that sensed the growth potential of the industry.
 

Sequoia Capital, a leading international venture equityfirm, last year put million yuan into Saint Lucia Consulting, an agency in Beijing, the ChinaBusiness News reported.
 

Compared with the dynamic growth of Hope Noah, Fan’scompany had grown more slowly with only three or four new clients a month sinceit was set up at the end of 2013, Fan said.
 

Shanghai-based Ryavo Healthcare had a similarly sluggishstart, according to its general manager Zhou Jizhao, who said the publicresponse was cooler than he expected when he opened the agency two years ago.
 

That could be because people are still largely unawarethat much better medical services can be accessed overseas.
 

The three agencies claim they all partner with tophospitals in the US and Japan, such as Massachusetts General Hospital inBoston, MD Anderson Cancer Centre in Houston and Tokyo’s Cancer InstituteHospital of JFCR.
 

Mass General had about 100 Chinese patients last year, 10times as many as in 2011, the Boston Globe quoted Dr Andrew Warshaw, former chief ofsurgery who heads international and regional clinical relations for thehospital, as saying.
 

Nearly all mainland patients paid their own overseasmedical expenses because commercial international medical insurance had scantcoverage inChina,the three agencies said.
 

But the industry is not without risk. CCTV reported thata domestic agency charged one Shandongpatient with eye problems 600,000 yuan for translating his medical records andcontacting an American hospital. The agency later told him to remit 10 millionyuan for “treatment bills”, saying the hospital said the illness could becompletely cured. The man realised it was a con and didn’t pay the second instalment.
 

In regular practices, agencies don’t charge medical costsand patients pay their bills directly to the overseas hospitals.
 

Dr Yu Wenbing, from the Beijing Cancer Hospital, said it wasgood that wealthy patients sought overseas treatment because it would helpreduce the workload for doctors at the mainland’s top hospitals.
 

It is estimated that 700,000 people from outside Beijing flock tohospitals in the capital every day, according to the news portal Cnr.cn.
 

“I should point out thatChina’sfirst-class hospitals have close communication with elite health centres abroadand the capacity gap [betweenChinaand the world] is narrowing,” Yu said. “In terms of surgery skills, Chinesedoctors are a cut above foreign counterparts because they practice a lot.”
 

Huang Ruofan, an oncologist at Shanghai’sHuashan Hospital, agreed, saying the only valueof overseas medical care was to receive treatment from the best doctorsacknowledged globally in the industry.
 

“I doubt agencies know who those first-ranked doctors areand I don’t think they can access those leading experts,” he said.

南华早报原文链接:http://www.scmp.com/news/china/money-wealth/article/1814711/cut-above-chinese-agencies-offer-overseas-medical-treatment