Editorial : EHCV loopholes breed frauds

【明報專訊】THE ELDERLY HEALTH CARE VOUCHER SCHEME (EHCV scheme, launched nearly ten years ago) is supposedly beneficial to the elderly, but its implementation has bred many confusions and malpractices. A recent example is that a pharmacy has been found to have instigated old people to use their health care vouchers to buy fish maws. In recent years, the government has put emphasis on stepping up primary health care services to ease the strain on public hospitals. The EHCV scheme should have gone some way towards that. The problem is that the government's regulation is so feeble as to allow unscrupulous shopkeepers and practitioners chances to defraud. The abuse of the EHCV scheme is increasingly becoming serious. The Department of Health is obligated to safeguard the public coffers. It ought to improve the complaint mechanism and put in greater effort to enforce the law and have offenders punished.