Li Ka Shing Foundation "Heart of Gold" Hong Kong Hospice Service Programme extended to HK Buddhist Hospital

Hong Kong (HKSAR) - The following is issued on behalf of the Hospital Authority:

The 10th Hospice Centre established under the "Heart of Gold" Hong Kong Hospice Service Programme, a collaboration programme between the Hospital Authority (HA) and the Li Ka Shing Foundation (LKSF), was opened in Hong Kong Buddhist Hospital today (November 15). The centre provides integrated care to terminal cancer patients and their family members in the Kowloon Central Cluster of the HA.

The Opening Ceremony today was officiated by the Director of the LKSF, Mr Michael Kan; the HA Director of Cluster Services, Dr Cheung Wai-lun; the Cluster Chief Executive of Kowloon Central Cluster, Dr Hung Chi-tim; the Chairman of the Hospital Governance Committee of Hong Kong Buddhist Hospital, Mr Keith Lam; and the Hospital Chief Executive of Hong Kong Buddhist Hospital, Dr Cheuk Tsan.

Dr Cheung said in the ceremony, "With the establishment of the Hospice Centre, provision of services to patients and their family members such as physical, social, psychological and spiritual care would be enhanced. Terminally ill patients would have their final journey of life as comfortable and dignified as possible." He thanked the LKSF for its long-term support for palliative care services in Hong Kong.

The initiatives in Hong Kong Buddhist Hospital under this project include the replacement of electrically operated patient beds in the palliative ward, enhanced home care services to achieve around 11,000 visits in three years from October 2010, and the establishment of the Resources Centre and the Bereavement Room.

Hong Kong Buddhist Hospital provides comprehensive and holistic health-care services for terminal cancer patients and their families through its Palliative Care Service and the Hospice Centre, including:

* In-patient Service - There are 65 beds inside a peaceful environment for terminally ill patients to relieve their symptoms and to soothe their discomfort, and also to address their physical, psychological and spiritual needs in their last leg of life and help make their final journey as comfortable and dignified as possible.

The Bereavement Room is open to patients of all religious backgrounds. Patients can be accompanied by their beloved relatives and friends inside the room during their final moments. Buddhist patients may have their relatives and friends pray for them in Buddhist practice.

* Home Visits - Nurses provide nursing care to terminal cancer patients and training to the caregivers of patients for their empowerment through home visits.

They would immediately refer needy patients for medical consultation or admission to hospital during their home visits.

* Out-patient Service - Regular medical consultations and follow-up on medication and procedures would be scheduled.

* Resources Centre - The Resources Centre provides a platform for training and for caregivers, palliative care service workers and volunteers to share their experiences.

* Volunteer Service - A team of volunteers dedicates themselves to caring for the patients and their family members. Besides organising regular activities, the volunteers also tailor-make gifts and food for the patients during major festivals.

The "Heart of Gold" Hong Kong Hospice Service Programme was launched in 2007 as a collaboration between the HA and the LKSF. The Foundation has donated $82 million to sponsor 10 public hospitals to set up hospice centres with matching funds from the HA.

Multi-disciplinary health-care professionals provide holistic services to terminal cancer patients. Services include bereavement counselling, home visits and organising training for volunteers to enhance volunteer service in hospice care. To date, the "Heart of Gold" Hong Kong Hospice Service Programme has achieved the following:

* Served more than 18,000 primary cancer patients;
* Provided more than 38,000 home care visits;
* Provided more than 30,000 sessions of psychological counselling for patients and their family members; and
* Provided bereavement counselling to more than 1,400 children.

Published on: 2012-11-15

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