Manulife joins hands with CFSC to provide a comprehensive and flexible range of services to low-income families from five deprived districts, starting from Kwun Tong, where Manulife’s core operations in Hong Kong are based, and rolling out to Eastern District, Sham Shui Po, Tin Shui Wai, Tsuen Wan and Kwai Tsing. These services will be provided through CFSC and four other charitable organizations including Yan Chai Hospital Board, Po Leung Kuk, United Christian Nethersole Community Health Service and HKSKH Lady MacLehose Centre.
Up to 2,000 low-income beneficiaries will receive free health screening and consultation services, and they will be able to choose from seven tailored options to create a plan that best fits their healthcare needs. Based on the results of medical check-ups that cover cholesterol level, blood pressure, blood glucose, heart risk level, stress level and BMI level, registered nurses or dietitians will provide them with medical advice and Manulife-sponsored health vouchers. With these vouchers, they can choose the most suitable option from a range of services such as GP consultation, physiotherapy, body checks, nutrition consultation, traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture, and dental care.
“As the first-ever business-sponsored health voucher charity program, this thoughtful and innovative CSR initiative is built upon Manulife’s health leadership and expertise,” said Isabella Lau, Chief Customer Officer at Manulife Hong Kong. “By working with CFSC on this program, we will be able to relieve the burden of medical expenses for low-income families, and instil a mindset of preventive healthcare that is so fundamental to people’s health and well-being. Our efforts can offer beneficiaries the flexibility and convenience of using healthcare support they need without worrying about the financial stress.”
Kwok Lit-tung, JP, Chief Executive of CFSC, added, “We are honoured to lead this project, and are grateful for Manulife’s financial support and its team of health experts who have offered valuable insights. We share Manulife’s commitment to improving the health and well-being of the community, developing primary healthcare services and building a healthy city. We hope that by combining our capabilities and strengths, we can support underprivileged families, especially their household pillars, to protect their health through early intervention and preventive measures. Working closely with other NGO partners, we are going to support vulnerable families that are most in need.”
To look further into the healthcare needs and concerns of low-income groups, Manulife commissioned the Centre for the Advancement of Social Sciences Research (CASR) of Hong Kong Baptist University to conduct a local survey with the support of CFSC from December 2020 to January 2021. With over 300 respondents interviewed, the survey reveals their healthcare issues and health-related habits, as well as the impact of COVID-19 on their employment.
The survey found that low-income families are among this “Vulnerable Community in Healthcare”, with the majority of them lacking proactivity in seeking medical care and access to medical check-ups or insurance. Up to 42% of respondents stated that they would not consult a doctor with early signs of illness, and of them about 79% would rely on over-the-counter medicines. The majority of respondents (89%) also did not have a regular medical check-up as they found it costly (71%) and believed that there were no pressing health issues (37%). The findings showed that low-income groups are not recognizing the necessity to identify or take care of their healthcare needs at early stage, with 82% of the respondents without any medical insurance at all. This reveals an immediate need to support grassroot families and promote preventive healthcare and early intervention to rectify the situation.
The COVID-19 outbreak has accelerated the situation further as almost two-thirds of the respondents (66%) are experiencing different levels of impact from the pandemic, including income reduction, unemployment or cut-down on employee benefits. Yet, the survey also found that 81% of respondents have wide-ranging medical needs, including sustained pain (48%), oral problems (42%), nutrition or body weight issues (13%), that require attention and care.
“As a leader in health protection, Manulife strives to foster greater health and well-being in the community through our extensive, industry-leading health products and innovative programs, as well as a dedicated team of health experts,” said Wilton Kee, Chief Product Officer and Head of Health at Manulife Hong Kong. “The new survey gives us great insights into the imminent healthcare challenges faced by low-income families, especially during these difficult times. We are excited about this new community project and its unique values in helping the medically vulnerable people identify their health problems and take early actions to address them.”
Manulife Hong Kong, through Manulife International Holdings Limited, owns Manulife (International) Limited, Manulife Investment Management (Hong Kong) Limited and Manulife Provident Funds Trust Company Limited. As a member of the Manulife group of companies, Manulife Hong Kong offers a diverse range of protection and wealth products and services to individual and corporate customers in Hong Kong and Macau.
Manulife Financial Corporation is a leading international financial services group that helps people make their decisions easier and lives better. With our global headquarters in Toronto, Canada, we operate as Manulife across our offices in Canada, Asia, and Europe, and primarily as John Hancock in the United States. We provide financial advice, insurance, and wealth and asset management solutions for individuals, groups and institutions. At the end of 2020, we had more than 37,000 employees, over 118,000 agents, and thousands of distribution partners, serving over 30 million customers. As of December 31, 2020, we had C$1.3 trillion (HK$7.9 trillion) in assets under management and administration, and in the previous 12 months we made C$31.6 billion in payments to our customers. Our principal operations are in Asia, Canada and the United States where we have served customers for more than 155 years. We trade as 'MFC' on the Toronto, New York, and the Philippine stock exchanges and under '945' in Hong Kong.