“This program was put together in response to the prevalence of depression. It is the first of its kind in Hong Kong and has received Hospital Authority’s support. We maintain a list of advanced medications for treating mood disorders with relatively fewer side-effects that are not publicly financed under Hospital Authority’s Drug Formulary. Underprivileged patients have since been able to benefit from those advanced medication that are not available under public healthcare.”
Drug subsidization program
Depression is the leading cause of disability as measured by the WHO’s concept of Years Lived with Disability in 2000. It is estimated that the lifetime prevalence of depression is 10 – 20%. According to a survey conducted by the Hong Kong Mood Disorders Center of the Chinese University of Hong Kong, the prevalence of depression in Hong Kong is about 8.3%.
To respond to the prevalence of depression and provide subsidization to psychiatric patients of public hospitals for drugs not publicly financed under the Hospital Authority Drug Formula so that they can benefit from the most advanced treatment.
Drug subsidization programme is targeted to those in need in the society, they should be:
• HA psychiatric patients
• Patients on CSSA or disability allowance
• Members recommended by their patient mutual aid groups or subject to the MHF’s discretion, a registered social worker or a non-profit making organization
How to apply
1. Application Form
Application form and pamphlet can be obtained from the Psychiatric Clinics of the Hospital Authority (HA) Apply via fax, email or by mail to MHF with 4 documents:
a. SFI prescription
b. Application form
c. Copy of applicant’s ID card
d. CSSA certificate OR notification of Disability Allowance OR recommendation letter from patient mutual aid groups, a registered social worker or a non-profit making organisation
2. Waiting for Approval
MHF will notify the applicant about the status of his application by phone, usually within 3 working days after MHF has received all necessary documents To make sure the treatment process will not be affected by the application procedure, the applicant has to purchase the medication for the SFI prescription from HA pharmacies until his application is approved (if applicable)
3. Successful Application
Mannings will call the applicant within 3 working days after the application has been approved by MHF that the applicant may collect the specific medication at the designated pharmacy for his / her next prescription.
An official letter confirming that the application has been approved will be sent to the applicant and to the respective clinic.
4. Collect Medication
The applicant will get his / her NEXT SFI prescriptions stamped at the MHF service points Applicant can collect the medication at the designated pharmacy
• Search MHF website or call the call centre for the updated list of subsidized drugs which will be updated every month before submitting your application.
• The maximum period for the subsidization of the applied drug is one year.
• The applicant is required to pay a non-refundable service charge (currently $10) to Mannings for each drug per month even if the duration of prescription is shorter than 1 month.
• The applicant may have to get the prescribed drug in divided stages at Mannings pharmacies if the drug is out of stock.
• The applicant is required to re-apply to MHF if the subsidized drug is changed to another one. 2016 Mental Health Foundation