Q Should the Hospital Authority be more open to alternative treatments?
The high-profile arrival of mainland neurologist Ling Feng to help an injured police constable this month has raised hopes for patients in vegetative states. It is certainly good news for patients' families as an alternative treatment can bring new hope. However, traditional Chinese medicine treatment is not widely accepted in the western medical sector.
Public hospitals in Hong Kong are mainly run by western-trained doctors. These doctors have no experience or training in traditional Chinese medicine treatments. So they cannot practise traditional Chinese medicines on their patients.
The high-pressure oxygen treatment sought for the constable is a significant change to the medical world but its effectiveness has not been scientifically supported. A new treatment has to be tested repeatedly to ensure it does not harm patients.
Patients' families accused the Hospital Authority of giving preferential treatment to the police officer. This is unfair to Chu Chun-Kwok since he was injured when he was carrying out his duty and the police force is now trying its best to help him recover.
It is understandable that families of patients who are in vegetative states are desperate and will try all kinds of alternative treatments.
But they should listen to the medical advice given by their doctors. Of course, doctors should also care about the feelings of patients and their families and be more open-minded to their views on treatments.
We cannot ask the Hospital Authority to provide traditional treatments as part of their routine services in a short time. But traditional Chinese medicine treatments should be more widely accepted and the Hospital Authority should have a clear policy on offering combination medicine.
Kusa Lee, Ma On Shan
Q Should RTHK introduce more programming for minority groups?
I agree with the new arrangement proposed by RTHK. It should introduce more programming for minority groups.
First, according to the Basic Law, Hong Kong people enjoy freedom of speech. Not only are the majority of us guaranteed this by law, but also minority groups. Therefore, why can't they voice their feelings?
Second, people can get a better understanding of minority groups. For example, discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation exists usually because of myths in society. Understanding more can help us put ourselves into others' shoes. If discrimination is prevented, a harmonious society can be achieved.
Third, there is no way the new programming is forced on people. You can choose not to listen to the programmes.
Hosting a talk show for minority groups does not mean forcing you to accept their points of view. You have the freedom to choose not to listen to it, just like they have the right to speak up. In short, it is a good way for communication between citizens and minority groups.
Sally Ho, Western District
Besides the majority in Hong Kong, the minorities should also be concerned as they are also part of our community.
People should be given an equal opportunity to express their feelings and allowed to express their views about gay issues.
Perhaps some people may change their views after listening to this programme.
Even if some people do not accept gays and lesbians in their social circle, this does not mean that people who are homosexual should not enjoy their own social circle.
Everyone has the right to choose the gender of their lovers and partners.
Aubrey, Sha Tin
I think RTHK should introduce a discussion topic about gays and lesbians because we do not have this kind of information.
It will provide us with a good opportunity to think about this topic. The information and concepts we so often receive only reflect the negative side of gay people.
On the other hand, I think RTHK should make sure the length of its broadcasting time for this topic is reasonable because many people do not want to listen to this topic, which remains a taboo in society.
Boris Chan, Ho Man Tin
On other matters ...
A few months ago, Disneyland came out with a special spring offer for tourists. This promotion is also being trumpeted in its website.
The promotional offer is 'Extra Magic' for mainland and international guests that supposedly can be accessed through travel agents. Inquiries with Hong Thai, one of the largest local travel agents, found the firm does sell Disneyland entrance tickets but does not provide the 'Extra Magic' coupon.
Subsequent inquiries made direct to Disneyland as to which travel agents (local or foreign) are accredited for the promotional scheme proved futile.
I find it ridiculous that even Disneyland was not able to provide the list of travel agents accredited to offer this much-publicised promotion. It inevitably leads me to wonder whether there really is such a promotional offer. If, perhaps, this offer is only available to guests staying in Disneyland hotels, then the management should explicitly say so in its PR announcements.
Vic Ku, Taikoo Shing
I was pleased to read of the interesting plans for the 1920s-era Blue House in Wan Chai off Queen's Road East. ('$100m to turn tenement into testament to culture,' City, April 1).
In the same manner, the Bauhaus Wan Chai market, located nearby, should be preserved and used for both the public and tourists. It is a beautifully designed structure that merits being saved.
Could the government please advise what the latest plans are?
Bryan S. Alexander, Pokfulam