(11 March 2019 – Hong Kong) The Cardiology Centre of Hong Kong Sanatorium & Hospital has introduced a three-year “Transcatheter Cardiovascular Interventions Subsidy Scheme” with the generous donation of HK$10 million from the Li Ka Shing Foundation (LKSF) to provide financial assistance to patients in need of four major sophisticated procedures related to heart diseases.
Since July 2018, a total of 10 patients have benefitted from the Scheme, receiving subsidies totalling over $2 million from the Foundation.
Patients who are suffering from four types of heart diseases, namely blocked coronary arteries, severe aortic stenosis, leaky mitral or tricuspid valve and non-valvular atrial fibrillation, have to undergo surgeries such as coronary stenting procedure, Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation (TAVI), Transcatheter Mitral/Tricuspid Valve repair (Clip) and Left Atrial Appendage Occlusion (LAAO) for treatment. The Hospital and the Foundation have hoped that the Scheme would enable more patients to receive treatments appropriate to their needs.
A spokesman for Hong Kong Sanatorium & Hospital said, “It is expected that the Scheme will benefit more than 30 patients over three years, each of whom with a subsidy from HK$180,000 to HK$500,000, depending on the procedures they receive.”
“The Foundation will cover the cost of the procedure including the surgical implants, while under the Scheme the Hospital and attending doctors will provide concessionary rates in hospital and consultation charges. Though the subsidy will not cover surgical expenses in full, the Scheme will no doubt help lessen the financial burden of patients undergoing procedures involving relatively higher cost of implants such as stent, artificial valve, clip and LAA Occluder,” the spokesman said.
Cases to be put under the Scheme will be vetted by Cardiology Centre experts based on patients’ condition and the anticipated improvements in quality of life after operations. Referrals from other cardiologists will also be considered.
Mr Li Ka-shing, Chairman of the Foundation, said, “Medical expenses for critical or chronic illnesses can exact a heavy toll, even for financially sound middle-class families, which can sometimes lead to missed opportunities for proper treatment. I hope the support from the Foundation can help mitigate some of the costs and give patients the benefit of advanced medical care so they can focus on recovery without financial worries.”
The 87 year-old Mr. YU is among the patients benefitting under the Scheme. His major visceral organs are mirrored from their normal positions congenitally and he is the first such patient to have received minimally invasive TAVI for treatment in Hong Kong.
Mr. YU suffered from severe symptomatic aortic stenosis. His case was reviewed by a team of experts in late 2018 and open-heart surgery was not recommended due to his advanced age and fragile health.
Instead, minimally invasive TAVI was planned for him with a view to replacing an artificial valve on him. His unique congenital condition made the case more complicated. As a result, the Hospital arranged a cross-disciplinary team comprising a cardiologist, a cardiothoracic surgeon, a cardiac anaesthetist, a vascular surgeon and a microbiologist to conduct the surgery.
Mr. YU, who experienced occasional dizziness and decreased exercise tolerance with shortness of breath before the surgery, said his condition has improved following the operation and that he is happy with enhanced quality of life. “I have retired for a long time and at first I was concerned about the operation expenses. I am so grateful for the donation from LKSF and the support from the Hospital without which I may not be able to enjoy the enhancement in quality of life brought by advanced medical technologies,” he said.
Hong Kong Sanatorium & Hospital
Hong Kong Sanatorium & Hospital is one of the leading private hospitals in Hong Kong. With the
motto “Quality in Service . Excellence in Care”, the Hospital is committed to serving the public as
well as promoting medical education and research.
About the Li Ka Shing Foundation
The Li Ka Shing Foundation was established in 1980 to work on education, medical services and research initiatives. To date, Mr. Li has invested over HK$25 billion across 27 countries and regions, with about 80% of the projects within the Greater China region. In 2006, Mr. Li described his philanthropic effort as akin to having another son in the family. He called for a paradigm shift in our Asian culture of giving, through apportioning more of our wealth and means towards social capital so that we could bring forth great hope and promises for the future.
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