Always leading by innovation, Vision First is pleased to announce Hong Kong first “Refugee Health Clinic”. This new program includes medical examinations, medicines and referrals for refugees, whose suffering is frequently prolonged by bigotry and suspicion against darker skin prevalent at public hospitals. Indeed, the motivation behind this initiative is the racial wedge, contrary to the Hippocratic Oath, perpetuating a two-tier medical service that makes non-ID-card-holders feel most unwelcome at emergency rooms. These are the only facilities available to those who cannot book public or private doctors. After collaborative talks with Dr. Fan Ning an independent service was launched to meet refugees’ medical needs. The difficulties refugees encounter at hospitals are well-known and hard to address: racism, discrimination, cultural ignorance, hands-off examinations, welfare misinformation, cashier restrictions and the bitterly lamented “Panadol Solution”, i.e. one medication for any illnesses from cancer or sore throat.
Today we are proud to launch a pilot program to bring expert medical care to our members, first, and the broader refugee community, later. Dr. Fan Ning (Surgeon Yan Chai Hospital, President MSF Hong Kong) will set up a mobile clinic at our First Street center on alternate Saturdays (every Saturday from mid July) with volunteer doctors, nurses, essential instrument and medication. This primary care will include: medical consultation and examination, health education on hygiene and lifestyle, referral system, medication and follow-ups in person and by phone/email. An initial team of volunteer doctors and nurses will be expanded to meet the needs of members and non-members following a six month pilot program that will start on 2 June 2012. We are now looking for citizen volunteers to help coordinate this activity that will develop into one of our service backbones in the coming months. Finally, dear members, if you need to see the doctor, please SMS your case-worker to make an appointment – thank you.