Hong Kong Basketball Association faces insurance hurdles

Insurance woes jeopardise players' participation in upcoming international events

Hong Kong Basketball Association faces insurance hurdles

Life & Health

By Roxanne Libatique

Concerns are arising over inadequate medical coverage for basketball players in Hong Kong, with Hong Kong Basketball Association chairman Norman Chan pointing fingers at the insurance industry.

In a South China Morning Post (SCMP) report, Chan said existing medical insurance fails to offer comprehensive coverage, leaving players burdened with substantial bills, often reaching tens of thousands of dollars, particularly when injured during international assignments. This predicament jeopardised the participation of eight key players from the Asian Games squad in the upcoming Asia Cup qualifiers.

Expressing a desire to enhance insurance offerings, Chan acknowledged the reality, stating, “the fact is, there is none available.”

Dah Sing Insurance, the association's current insurer, expressed willingness to address players' needs but noted no request for coverage update.

Association continues to seek new policy

The government's Leisure and Cultural Services Department confirmed the association's active pursuit of a new policy, more than two months after reports surfaced about players bearing the financial burden of their treatments, SCMP said.

Notable cases include Marco Leung Ka-hin, facing reimbursement delays, and another player with medical bills exceeding HK$70,000, underscoring the challenges faced by players.

Calls for improving medical welfare

As Hong Kong readies for the Asia Cup qualifiers, the team is anticipated to field a weakened squad due to the absence of several players, prompting officials to address the situation.

SCMP revealed that Kenneth Fok Kai-kong, a Legislative Council member and a vice president of the city's Olympic Committee, approached financial secretary Paul Chan Mo-po to advocate for increased resources to provide medical welfare for non-elite sports athletes.

The association reportedly seeks assistance from local A1 Division teams for player recruitment, with potential consequences for those opting out of certain team duties.

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