HKJC contributes HK$100m to new long Covid recovery scheme

The Hong Kong Jockey Club (HKJC) has committed more than HK$100m (US$12.7m) to helping people recover from Covid-19’s lingering effects.

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This money will go towards its ‘Jockey Club Long-Covid Rehabilitation Programme,’ a scheme intended to support patients suffering from, as its name would suggest, long Covid.

Evidence has emerged showing some people are affected by certain conditions post-recovery, such as fatigue and breathing difficulties.

Hong Kong has been hit especially hard by Covid-19. In total, more than 1.7 million confirmed cases have been reported since 2020, and it entered a fifth wave earlier this year.

As a result, the HKJC anticipates a surge in demand for long Covid rehabilitation services, hence this new programme.

It has been organised in partnership with several NGOs, such as the Hong Kong Christian Service, St James’ Settlement and Lok Sin Tong Benevolent Society.

Together, the HKJC and its partners will provide three distinct support services targeting communities and elderly care homes, as well as self-managed support via a dedicated app.

“Clinical research on Covid-19 continues to advance, where one of the most pressing needs is to help Covid survivors better manage the effects of long Covid,” said Dr Gabriel Leung, the Club’s Executive Director of Charities and Community.

“Adopting a primary care framework, this novel programme aims to lend support to residents of care homes as well as those in the general community, particularly the more vulnerable and disadvantaged.”

According to HKJC estimates, approximately 40,000 people will benefit from the direct services provided, while 30,000 will benefit from the self-management app and website.

Leung added: “The Club believes that this programme will help the community overcome the public health challenge of Covid sequelae such that Hong Kong can emerge stronger and better.”

It will be implemented in phases beginning this month.

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