Shenzhen remedy for stranded locals

Local | Mandy Zheng 2 Nov 2020

The University of Hong Kong-Shenzhen Hospital will assemble a team of Cantonese-speaking doctors who can read English to care for Hongkongers needing follow-up consultation under an SAR subsidized scheme.

Chief executive Lo Chung-mau said yesterday there will also be SAR doctors to help smooth things out when needed.

The government has allocated HK$103.8 million for the scheme to subsidize patients living in Guangdong who can no longer return here to visit hospitals and clinics run by the Hospital Authority amid the pandemic.

Lo said details of the scheme, expected to benefit 28,000, will be announced early this month.

He refused to guarantee every patient could meet a doctor from the SAR, adding: "I don't think that's a reasonable expectation, as we are a Shenzhen hospital.

"I can assure you that our mainland colleagues were carefully selected and trained based on Hong Kong's medical principles. Our service quality is in line with Hong Kong."

About 30 Hongkongers now work at the hospital, including doctors, nurses and physical therapists, Lo said.

Patients eligible for the scheme would be those with appointments with the authority, regardless of their ailments.

But if one developed a new disease other than the one in the appointment the expenses would not be covered.

Lo criticized SAR virus control efforts as having many flaws, such as letting patients with Covid-19 symptoms walk away from clinics, and letting patients wait for days for test results.

Meanwhile, Anthony Wu Ting-yuk, chairman of Sunrise Diagnostic Centre - one of the labs conducting city-wide coronavirus testing in September - urged authorities to require high-risk groups to get tested.

"I hope we can make the tests mandatory," he said. "If a private doctor has the slightest doubt a patient might have the virus, he or she should get tested."

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