The Hospital Authority (HA) on Tuesday said it has rolled out an integrated Chinese-Western medicine programme to help some patients relieve their side effects during cancer treatment.
The pilot scheme, which is entirely voluntary, was rolled out at Princess Margaret Hospital this month, and will be extended to Tuen Mun Hospital next month.
It includes offering acupuncture to suitable patients to relieve their chemotherapy and radiation therapy side effects, such as nerve paralysis, xerostomia, and gastrointestinal discomfort.
The authority said around one-tenth of its cancer patients are suitable for the treatment. Princess Margaret Hospital, for example, will be providing the service to 1,000 patients each year.
Dr Fiona Lim of the hospital said it’s hoped the new scheme can benefit a wider range of cancer patients.
"For the initial initiative started in 2014, it targeted patients who were near the end of their cancer journey and focused on some cancer-related symptoms control," she said.
"For this new programme, we have actually moved forward, [to the stage] when patients are still receiving various kinds of cancer treatments... in order to help the patients relieve some of the cancer or treatment-related side-effects."
Local patients are required to pay HK$120 for each treatment.