Mrs Carrie Lam, Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, together with Professor Sophia Chan, Secretary for Food and Health and other government representatives, visited the Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU) Chinese Medicine Telemedicine Centre Against COVID-19 today (12 March). The Centre was set up by HKBU this month to help Hong Kong fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, providing an integrated hub to handle appointments, consultation and drug delivery.
Dr Clement Chen, Chairman of the Council and the Court; Professor Alexander Wai, President and Vice-Chancellor; Ms Christine Chow Oi-wan, Vice-President (Administration) and Secretary; Professor Bian Zhaoxiang, Associate Vice-President (Chinese Medicine Development); Professor Lyu Aiping, Dean of the School of Chinese Medicine; and Professor Daniel Lai Wing-leung, Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences of HKBU introduced to the Chief Executive the operation of the Centre. They also introduced the free and integrated Chinese medicine prevention and treatment service, as well as emotional support resources to COVID patients, their close contacts and carers offered by HKBU's transdisciplinary team.
With the critical situation of the pandemic, HKBU's Chinese medicine team launched the "Free Online Consultation Service for COVID-19 Patients" in mid-February. It targets patients under quarantine in the community with no critical symptoms who do not require hospitalisation. Consultations with patients will be conducted through WhatsApp video-conferencing, and medicine prescription and dispensing services will be offered. Consultation, medicine and delivery are free of charge.
Due to the overwhelming public demand for the service, the University had swiftly gathered together the resources needed to set up the HKBU Chinese Medicine Telemedicine Centre Against COVID-19 in two weeks' time, which started operating in early March. A designated online platform was also constructed to facilitate public registration for the service. The online consultation service has so far served more than 10,000 patients, close contacts and carers, and it can serve up to 1,000 patients every day.
HKBU collaborates with the Hong Kong Association of Gerontology on a special scheme which offers remote consultations and medicine delivery to the residents and staff members of accredited elderly homes. The same service has also been provided to elderly homes referred by the Hospital Authority. So far about 100 elderly homes have benefited from HKBU's consultation service. The service has also been offered to staff members of St. James' Settlement to help them maintain continuous services to around 5,200 home-based elders.
The elders and staff who are suffering from emotional distress due to the disease will be referred to the Social Work Practice and Mental Health Centre of the Department of Social Work at HKBU. Volunteers who have been trained by the Centre will contact the cases by phone to provide emotional support or counselling.
The public can visit the designated website of the Free Online Consultation Service for COVID-19 Patients for the appointment details as well as the consultation and medicine delivery arrangements.
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