The cost of seeing a doctor at Mona Fong general outpatient clinic has risen to $50, up $5. This includes medicine. The clinic, part of Tseung Kwan O Hospital, is not intended for everyone, however. It is there mainly for the elderly, low-income people and anyone with chronic diseases. The fee rise by the Hospital Authority came in June.
Asked what messages the medical staff have for Sai Kung people, Dr Matthew Luk said
they have two main ones:
- Anyone over 65 should get flu vaccinations.
- If you are a smoker, give it up.
Flu vaccinations are important to help the community fight against the winter surge of influenza. The disease can lead the elderly and anyone weakened by illness to develop bronchitis and pneumonia. Flu and its complications can kill. Free vaccinations are offered to eligible people at Mona Fong before the winter starts.
Smoking in the long run kills more than half of its addicts, according to Dr Judith Walker, the Sai Kung-resident anti-tobacco campaigner. Mona Fong offers cessation and counselling services. Chronic smokers can suffer heart attacks, strokes, lung diseases and death.
Ms S.M. Ho, nursing manager for the Kowloon East cluster of eight clinics including our Man Nin St local, said the Hospital Authority continually upgrades Sai Kung’s clinic. It was renovated three years ago and now has an improved queue management system, electrocardiogram machine, defibrillator and foot-paddle-operated exam beds. During opening hours about 15 staff will be on duty: doctors, nurses, pharmacists, support staff and at times physio and occupational therapists. Newly enhanced services include a risk assessment and management programme for diabetes and hypertension patients, the smoking cessation plan, and nurse and allied health clinics concerned with fall prevention and respiratory disease management.
Mona Fong is not geared to help people with concerns such as AIDS, family planning, sexual health and ante- and post-natal care. Ms Ho said such patients should see a GP who can refer them to appropriate institutions.
Asked how many patients the Mona Fong serves, Ms Ho said statistics are not available for individual clinics. She said the eight clinics that she looks after as nursing manager recorded 900,000 doctor appointments for 260,000 patients in 2016-17. One third were 65 or above and 40 per cent were chronic disease patients with diabetes or hypertension.