HKBU’s Free Treatment for ‘Long COVID’ Patients Rolls Out

HKBU Unveils Free Treatment for ‘Long COVID’ Patients

Hong Kong Baptist University’s (HKBU) COVID-19 Recovery Clinic has launched on Sept. 7 a programme to arrange free Chinese medicine consultations and treatment for elderly patients.

Called the “Everbright Care Long COVID Chinese Medicine Rehabilitation Programme,” the scheme is open to people aged 65 or older who suffer from “long COVID” symptoms. Long COVID is defined as persistent symptoms for four weeks of more after the clearance of COVID-19, including fatigue, memory issues, difficulty sleeping and breathing.

Patients can receive up to four medical consultations, two face-to-face sessions at the university’s clinics, and two online sessions free of charge. The patients can receive up to six days of Chinese medicine granules after each consultation.

Care for “long COVID” at the Recovery Clinic consists of a gut microbiome test, dietetic intervention, Chinese medicine, mental health programmes, physiotherapy, and sleep health programmes – although not all patients will require all treatment plans.

“If the patient is in stable condition, we don’t want him or her to be wearied of commuting to the clinics … their family members can pick up the medicine for them, or we can deliver to them,” Alexander Wai, HKBU president and vice-chancellor, was quoted as saying in a Sept. 8 report by RTHK.

Associate vice-president on Chinese medicine development Bian Zhaoxiang said he believes that four consultations can tackle long COVID symptoms effectively.

“Some of the symptoms like shortness [of breath], cough, or like insomnia, or diarrhea, or dyspepsia… those symptoms are easily reduced with the Chinese medicine treatment – either in herbs or acupuncture,” he said.

To join the scheme, eligible patients can sign up online and present their infection records. Around 20,000 to 50,000 people are expected to benefit from the programme.

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