Letters to the Editor, October 10, 2017

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 10 October, 2017, 4:58pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 10 October, 2017, 4:58pm

Health officials must fast-track aid for patient

I refer to the report on Josy Chow Pui-shan (“Using only two fingers, Hong Kong girl types 22-page proposal calling for life-saving muscle drug”, ­October 8).

When I read stories like this, it makes me realise how lucky I am not to be stricken by a serious ­illness. Josy Chow is ­almost completely paralysed by a rare disease, spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), and wants the Hong Kong government to introduce a ­life-saving new drug, nusinersen [marketed as Spinraza], which is approved by the US Food and Drug Administration.

There are estimated to be 85 SMA patients in Hong Kong. If this drug can make a difference, the government should provide financial support to patients and their families, and allow the drug to be prescribed here.

The Department of Health should fast-track discussions with the relevant pharmaceutical firms and give the necessary approval. Any further delays would mean that patients continue to suffer when this drug could ­alleviate that suffering.

There are many patients with rare conditions who cannot always get the drugs they need.

The government must look into their cases with greater ­urgency and find ways to help them, where it is possible to do so. More money must be invested in our public hospitals, so that these citizens can be treated more effectively.

Jocelly Tse, Tseung Kwan O

Consultations about final days important

I agree with those who say that giving elderly or terminally ill ­patients greater control over how to spend their last days is important (“Measures to give more dignity to the dying”, ­October 9). If they have more ­options, this can also reduce the workload faced by public ­hospitals.

The views of elderly citizens must be sought on this important issue.

It should be possible, if their condition allows it, for them to spend their final days at home.

Of course, if they live alone with no relatives, that might not be possible, but they need to be consulted all the same.

This also raises the wider issue of the pressure placed on public hospitals. Citizens should always act responsibly and only go to an accident and emergency unit if they feel their condition is serious enough to warrant admission. All too often, the ­services of public hospitals are open to abuse.

The government needs to look at more effective ways to treat people, where possible within the community, so that there is less pressure on hospitals and our ambulance service.

With the right policies in place, the quality of care ­provided in public hospitals can be ­enhanced.

Teresa Ng, Hang Hau

Boxer did not want to give up despite injury

As a Hongkonger, I’m so proud of Rex Tso Sing-yu, our superstar boxer who won his latest bout on Saturday night against Kohei Kono from Japan.

He sustained what looked like a really bad injury at the time, through an accidental headbutt in the second round.

He did not want to give up, but the referee ended the fight in the seventh round after ­consulting the ringside doctor, and Rex won the super flyweight contest on a technical decision.

As he said afterwards, he did not want to give up, and he felt devastated when he was told he had to, but it was important for him to be examined in hospital.

He showed the spirit of a true sporting hero and was determined not to give up his dream.

I am sure that he was in a lot of pain, but he still wanted to keep going.

We can all learn from his never-say-die spirit.

He carried the expectations of so many people and did not want to let down all his fans in Hong Kong.

Cheng Sin-hei, Tseung Kwan O

Revoke licence of habitually errant airlines

I agree with your editorial ­regarding the cancellation of flights by Hong Kong Express during the busy National Day holiday period (“Hong Kong must do more over errant ­airlines”, October 3).

The airline needs to look at its management structure and make the necessary improvements. It must ensure that it has sufficient staff in all areas on standby.

Budget airlines are becoming more popular, and the government needs to see if tighter controls are needed with sanctions when things like this happen. If an airline consistently lets passengers down, officials should have the power to revoke ­licences.

Angel Wong, Yau Yat Chuen

Food truck scheme may need rethink

A third operator, Creative Yummy, has dropped out of the food truck pilot scheme, raising questions about whether the model can ­survive in Hong Kong.

There have been complaints by operators about some of the designated locations not attracting many people. Although food trucks are popular in the US and UK, that does not mean they will prove a hit here.

If a truck is in a poor location, this can discourage operators, ­because just getting mobile eateries up and running involves a huge capital investment. Officials should find out if things can be improved, ­especially with ­regard to the designated spots.

Angel Lok, Kwai Chung