Monday, July 18, 2005

Animal Magic....

I see from the SCMP that pet insurance (subscription required) is about to be introduced to HK…finally and just as I have left!

“With annual premiums of $1,680 or $2,480, Apex Insurance Brokers offers schemes that cover everything from veterinary consultations, medication and room and board in a clinic, to surgical expenses and a free physical with vaccination shot.

And should your dearly beloved disappear, the scheme covers advertising expenses incurred in appealing for information.

Death claims are not covered, but the scheme will pay up to $1,000 for a funeral service, according to Andrew Chow Yiu-ming, director of Apex……

….The scheme also covers legal liability to pay third-party compensation for any unfortunate incidents caused by an unruly pet. The claim amount is $500,000 a year but can be increased. Mr Chow said the scheme covered only cats and dogs but would possibly include other pets in six months”

Pet insurance was the first thing I asked about before I took on my moggies…I am sure that the cost of pet medical fees accounts for quite a few abandoned pets in HK. Vets in HK can basically charge whatever they want…I know when I lived in DB my vets bills were horrendous particularly compared with what you would be charged in town…market forces I guess.

I remember taking Chiang Kai-shek to the vet when I was in Jordan…she had an abscess on her gum and one side of her face was all looked quite comical but she was obviously in some pain. So I took her over to the vet (there is only one veterinary clinic in Jordan and looking back – way back) through his records he found that he had treated our family dog way back in the ‘80s when we lived down near the Dead Sea!) he said that she would need a general anesthetic so he could drain the abscess. I told him that she had eaten within the last twelve hours – so should I come back later on. No need he said…he then took me into the ‘surgery’ (I use the term lightly…not the cleanest, not the tidiest and with equipment that I think Florence Nightingale used at Sebastapool!) anyway…he stuck the needle in and gave her the anesthetic…and then put her into this filthy cage whilst she dosed was again quite comical…one minute she was sitting up looking at me…the next she just keeled over. So the vet then hauls her out and puts her on the table and then asks if I want to watch….I couldn’t but my flat mate did and apparently it was quite interesting. After the vet finished he called me back in and said that I could take Chiang Kai-shek home…now given that she was completely unconscious with her tongue lolling out of her mouth and her eyes wide open staring vacantly into space…I wasn’t too keen on the idea…however the vet assured me it was fine and all I needed to do was to ensure that her eyes were kept moist.

So my flat mate and I piled into the car…she sat in the back with Chiang Kai-shek squeezing drops of water on her eyes as I drove back through the Amman rush hour…so we arrived home with comatose cat and me having to go back to work. My flat mate volunteered to stay home on ‘water squeezing duty’…this all started at about 4pm….CKS eventually came to at about 11pm…she then proceeded to stagger around the house…stopping periodically and going into a deep sleep…all much to Chairman Mao’s entertainment…he kept poking her with his paw!

All of the above medical treatment and entertainment for the grand total of HK$200…. granted in HK the procedure and aftercare would put your average third world hospital to shame but it would have cost around the HK$1,000 mark…at least.

I think in HK that medical insurance is the way forward and as and when I return…definitely something I shall be looking into.


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