The Hospital Authority has promised to look into the care of patients in a vegetative state or coma, including the possibility of introducing alternative treatment. In a meeting arranged by the Society for Community Organisation, eight families of brain-damaged patients yesterday talked to the authority's chief executive, Shane Solomon, and the adviser for integrative medicine, Vivian Wong Taam Chi-woon. Among the families were Lee Lai-hing, the mother of injured police officer Jacky Chu Chun-kwok, and Fok King-hee, who wrote to the chief executive last month complaining that his 12-year-old son, who is in a vegetative state, was failing to receive sufficient treatment. Tim Pang Hung-cheong, community organiser of the society, said at present, brain-damaged patients in a vegetative state or coma were in various hospitals and alternative treatments were often unavailable. The families hoped the authority could provide a specialised ward in each district to group patients together and centralise the treatment and rehabilitation. This would help the many families who could not look after discharged patients at home. They also called on the authority to introduce more alternative treatments, such as Chinese herbal medicine, massage and oxygen treatment. The families said Mr Solomon had promised the authority would look into feasibility of a new service model for brain-damaged patients. The authority said it would consider introducing more alternative treatments and inviting mainland experts to train staff on integrating western and Chinese medicine. But Mr Solomon said the authority faced the problem of tight resources. Mr Pang said: 'In general, we feel that the authority has sincerity to strengthen treatment for brain-damaged patients. It says it needs some time to study possible measures, but we hope that something concrete can at least be introduced in six months.' An authority spokesman said public hospitals provided the most suitable treatment and care for patients in a vegetative state or coma according to their individual situation. The patients' families could talk to doctors if they wanted to try alternative treatments, and the doctors would consider the feasibility and efficacy of the treatment for the best interest of the patients. Mr Chu suffered brain damage from loss of blood after he was stabbed in the neck in Cheung Sha Wan in July 2005. Last year, he was moved to a hospital in Guangzhou for oxygen pressure treatment to help him regain partial use of his limbs.