In view of the COVID-19 Pandemic, all regular CME activites would be suspended until further notice. As CME provider and Administrator, HKDU has been thriving hard to organize CME activities through various means, encouraging doctor members to join and gain CME points.
We have applied to the Medical Council of Hong Kong (MCHK) in March 2020 for granting CME points for doctors attending CME live activities organized by HKDU. We are grateful to MCHK for their swift encouraging reply for approving our live CME activities through ZOOM and Facbook Live realized through our concerted hard efforts to meet with their Accreditation requirements with immediate effect from 1st April 2020. (Please see page 6 of this Bulletin for the reply from MCHK). From now on, we shall provide more e-CME learning opportunities for members. We are aware that there are hiccups for some members joining these live CME activities, so we have shared some of the tips for members in the previous bulletins. We have prepared a dedicated column to tidy up the remaining difficulties encountered by some of the members in joining these activites on page 7 of this Bulletin. Please do have a look and in case you still find difficulties in joining e-CMEs, you are most welcome to call the secretariat at 2388 2728 for help.
I spoke on RTHK 1 in the morning of 10 April 2020 around 9:40am on the Anti-Epidemic Relief Fund 2.
I said, first of all, we appreciated the Government on exemption of our annual practising certificate fee for 3 years which amounts to a huge sum of HK$ 1,350.00. However, with the evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic, the implemenation of close border and Social Distancing, the business of our private clinics has dropped from 70 to 90 % and some colleagues are suffering a net loss of HK$ 100,000 to 200,000 per month and are on the verge of closing down soon. I said we had talked with the FHB on 4th March 2020 asking for relief fund help in the Anti-Epidemic Relief Fund 2 but in vain.
Secondly, I also told the RTHK 1 that we, private doctors, have to fight with the Government against the COVID-19 by containing the virus through detection. As such, we have equipped full PPE for our clinic operations which costs around HK$ 10,000 per month and this additional sum should be reimbursed by Government subsidies. I have told that at least 6 months Government subsidies on PPE is the least sum we accept from the Government.
Thirdly, I talked about our Union asking LINK on rental reduction as in the period of SARS 17 years ago. We have told LINK about the loss of business of public estate doctors who are in the frontline on this battle with COVID-19. We are disappointed with LINK on the attitude of her management. We shall seek other tycoon landlords for help soon.
I have talked to Dr. Chui Tak Yee, Undersecretary for Health and Food, and Ms. Elizabeth Tse, Permanent Secretary for Health and Food too on the MPF issue in the Anti-Epidemic Relief Fund 2. I am wondering why there is discrimination for working doctors age over 65 who are self employed and therefore not be enrolled in
MPF that they cannot benefit with this Anti-Epidemic Relief Fund 2 as in others below age of 65. They promised to look into the issue and give us reply soon.
The COVID-19 struck hard in Hong Kong and the world for the last 2 and half months. On 22nd April 2020, the number of new cases in Hong Kong came down to ZERO but it is NOT the time for complacency yet as there are emerging new cases elswhere around the world. There could be a third wave coming, according to expert microbiologists.
So, to protect ourselves and our citizens, colleagues should protect themselves in their clinical working places with appropriate PPE until the WARS is over. As the COVID-19 is still prevailing, many members are concerned about their private patients suffering from chronic diseases who may not be able to visit their clinics for treatment and drug refills.
However, the GOPC PPP Programme Advisory Group of the Hospital Authority has approved drug refilling arangement for public patients with chronic illesses without the requirement of face-to-face consultation, upon doctor’s review of the patient’s latest medical condition. This was enacted with effect from 25th Feburary, 2020.
We sent a letter to the Medical Council of Hong Kong on 6th March 2020 (Please see page 10 of this Bulletin for the letter) asking whether similar arrangement is ethical and acceptable in PURE PRIVATE SETTING and we got the reply on 17th April 2020 as printed out on page 11-12 of this Bulletin for your perusal.
In essence :“The Medical Council of Hong Kong cannot take over the autonomy of individual doctors and issue directive to them on when drug refilling without face-to-face consultation would be appropriate under the Code. A doctor should act in the best interest of his or her patients. Moreover, a doctor should ensure that any drug that he/she prescribes to his /her patient is appropriate for treatment of the patient’s medical condition(s). Individual doctor should therefore make his/her professional judgment on whether and when drug refilling without face-to-face consultation would be appropriate, taking into account the specificic circumstances of each patient.”
To this I would add: We should take into account of the specific circumstances of any individual case in such environment, like in this period of Pandemic.
Take care, folks. Keep healthy and happy!