Thanks to a donation from the Bank of China (Hong Kong), 500 low-income stroke patients will receive free Chinese medicine rehabilitation treatments from the Hong Kong Baptist University's school of Chinese medicine.
The three-year BOC-HKBU Chinese Medicine Community Stroke Prevention and Rehabilitation Scheme will also provide free preventive treatments and tracking assessments to 1,200 people who have a medium to high risk of having a stroke.
Funded by the University Grants Committee, the school launched Hong Kong's first full-time Chinese medicine undergraduate program in 1988.
Since then, it has been providing Chinese medicine services to the community and promoting education, research and healthcare services in Hong Kong.
HKBU vice-chancellor Alexander Wai said at the launch of the scheme: "Apart from reducing public health-care expenses, improving the quality of life of stroke patients, and increasing the success rate of rehabilitation initiatives, the scheme can also serve as a good example of how we can construct a community medical service management model based on collaboration between the Chinese medicine sector and the community."
The school has been working with Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui welfare council through a medical-community collaboration to set up clinics since 2017. Its teachers and students also visit elderly people in the Kowloon City district to follow up and deal with their physical ailments.
Director Lee Ching-yee said: "The community clinics set up by this scheme officially opened in January this year. In just half a year, the project team received more than 100 applications. With professional treatments administered by Chinese medicine practitioners and follow-ups organized by social workers, many successful cases have been observed."
People aged 60 or above who are Comprehensive Social Security Assistance or Old Age Living Allowance recipients can apply to join the scheme.
Stroke patients under 60 who are in need of support can also join the scheme after an assessment by social workers or a referral from one of the SCM clinics.
Under the scheme, SCM experts will form treatment teams and formulate a six-month treatment program for stroke patients.
Patients will receive free Chinese medicine, acupuncture and massage treatments two to three times a week, up to 72 times in total. SCM will arrange for Chinese medicine practitioners to visit the patients, or alternatively, the practitioners will invite them to receive their treatments at the HKSKH welfare council elderly centers.
In addition, the scheme will provide counselling and support services for older stroke patients and their family members.
One of the beneficiaries is Wong Hon-kwong, who received half a year of free Chinese medicine and acupuncture services. He said: "I could not open my left palm before, but I can now. My friends can see my progress." His wife also said that he has improved his mobility. As a result, he can now walk more smoothly and these developments have boosted his self-confidence.
Those who are interested in participating in the scheme can call 6533-9972 or 2333-1854 for any inquiries or complete the form in the QR code, right.