HUNDREDS of mainland children suffering from severe burns have to be turned away from the territory because of a lack of funds for treatment. Only four or five children a year can reap the benefits of a special fund set up to cover the costs of extensive care for children from China in desperate need of burn treatment facilities at the Prince of Wales Hospital. The fund, run by the Burns Unit at the hospital, gets its money from charity proceeds and two private donors who have contributed millions, according to Dr Arthur Li Kwok-cheung, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine. Unfortunately, supply cannot meet demand. 'We get hundreds of requests. Each year we like to take on at least four or five - ideally we would like to take as many as needs be. 'It's only when they give up total hope in China that we take them on. It's all children - we feel they need the care more. They have got their whole lives ahead of them,' he said. The fund was set up two years ago and covers costs of the child while he or she is in the Burns Unit of the hospital - which can be up to $3,000 a day. The Hospital Authority does not meet any of the costs, as Dr Li pointed out: 'If they allow it free for all the cases, then everyone would want to come.' Although five-year-old Kwong Sai-hin was too early for the fund, suffering severe burns four years ago in China, his mother Chau Kam-siu brought him to the territory in the hope of finding comprehensive care. 'He was in hospital in China for two months, then we appealed to Hong Kong for treatment. In China they just took care of his wounds, but other treatment - like follow-up treatment - they didn't provide,' she said. The kindergarten student suffered disfiguring burns to his face and hands - one hand so badly that now all that is left is a stump - after a mosquito net in his room caught fire. The blaze was caused by a faulty wire overheating. The kind of treatment he requires now, and will for the next 10 years, could not be found in her homeland, she said. 'Now he is still very young, he has his whole life ahead of him, but he doesn't understand why he is different from other children. 'He needs support from other patients, and psychological treatment,' she said. A patients' support group has recently been set up at the Prince of Wales Hospital for burns victims. As Dr Li explained, day-to-day life can be traumatic for some patients. 'People tend to be superficial. They can ostracise people who are disfigured. Many of the children have been picked on at school. The victims have to undergo a lot of prejudice. 'That's why we have the support group - they can prepare each other for the outside world,' he said. The Burns Unit yesterday announced a $1 million boost to facilities which was generated from a 'One Call, One Contribution' charity drive. Money was raised by taking a percentage of proceeds from overseas calls with the firm GrandTel International. A major portion of the funds will be spent on equipment such as a shower cabinet that cleans wounds, and an electronic scale for measuring the weight and nutrition levels of patients.