Missing Links between Primary Healthcare and Rural Elderly


Missing Links between Primary Healthcare and Rural Elderly

Sai Kung District Community Center, Hong Kong

Missing Links between Primary Healthcare and Rural Elderly

Sai Kung District Community Center, Hong Kong

Health inequity in rural areas is sometimes neglected in our city.  In Sai Kung alone, there are more than 158,800 senior citizens, accounting for 32% of the district population.  It is estimated that at least 10,000 of them are still living dispersedly and remotely among 110 rural villages, very far away from the closest major government-funded healthcare facilities in the urban town of Tseung Kwan O.

In addition, insufficient internet coverage remains as one of the greatest hurdles for implementing telehealth services there, as concluded in our supported pilot project by Sai Kung District Community Centre (SKDCC).    Despite numerous barriers, as a community-based NGO, SKDCC continues its pursuit to address the service gaps at the first contact point of primary healthcare system and to explore more effective solutions for ageing-in-place in rural areas.

Since July 2022, ZeShan Foundation, together with Kerry Group, has therefore been co-funding SKDCC’s another 3-year pilot project “Mobile Primary Healthcare in Rural Sai Kung for Elderly”. The team has been reaching out to elderly villagers to strengthen their self-efficacy, through combining the use of smart devices for monitoring, health coaching, mobilisation of community health ambassadors and case management, with a more holistic lens of maintaining a better quality of life in terms of healthcare and social connections.   These approaches align with ZeShan’s three guiding principles, namely ‘empowerment’ (by increasing the capacity of older persons to take charge of their own health, and of communities to take care of each), “engagement & collaboration” (by facilitating partnerships among social workers, pharmacies, researchers and community members, including the development of protocols and mechanism of collaboration), and “catalyzing innovations and flexibility” (by providing capital to an NGO such as SKDCC to test new collaborations and engage policy-making stakeholders).

Outreach service in the villages
Chinese medicine practitioner checking on villager
Service team visits remote villages
Mobile service can adapt to topography of remote villages
Outreach service in the villages
Chinese medicine practitioner checking on villager
Service team visits remote villages
Mobile service can adapt to topography of remote villages
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Outreach service in the villages
Chinese medicine practitioner checking on villager
Service team visits remote villages
Mobile service can adapt to topography of remote villages
Outreach service in the villages
Chinese medicine practitioner checking on villager
Service team visits remote villages
Mobile service can adapt to topography of remote villages
PlayPause
previous arrow
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Health inequity in rural areas is sometimes neglected in our city.  In Sai Kung alone, there are more than 158,800 senior citizens, accounting for 32% of the district population.  It is estimated that at least 10,000 of them are still living dispersedly and remotely among 110 rural villages, very far away from the closest major government-funded healthcare facilities in the urban town of Tseung Kwan O.

In addition, insufficient internet coverage remains as one of the greatest hurdles for implementing telehealth services there, as concluded in our supported pilot project by Sai Kung District Community Centre (SKDCC).    Despite numerous barriers, as a community-based NGO, SKDCC continues its pursuit to address the service gaps at the first contact point of primary healthcare system and to explore more effective solutions for ageing-in-place in rural areas.

Since July 2022, ZeShan Foundation, together with Kerry Group, has therefore been co-funding SKDCC’s another 3-year pilot project “Mobile Primary Healthcare in Rural Sai Kung for Elderly”. The team has been reaching out to elderly villagers to strengthen their self-efficacy, through combining the use of smart devices for monitoring, health coaching, mobilisation of community health ambassadors and case management, with a more holistic lens of maintaining a better quality of life in terms of healthcare and social connections.   These approaches align with ZeShan’s three guiding principles, namely ‘empowerment’ (by increasing the capacity of older persons to take charge of their own health, and of communities to take care of each), “engagement & collaboration” (by facilitating partnerships among social workers, pharmacies, researchers and community members, including the development of protocols and mechanism of collaboration), and “catalyzing innovations and flexibility” (by providing capital to an NGO such as SKDCC to test new collaborations and engage policy-making stakeholders).

Moreover, this project is also testing a community-based referral system for professional treatment and a co-payment system referencing government subsidy scale like Health Care Voucher and Community Care Service Voucher, etc. Evidence-based evaluation would also be conducted in order to assess the project outcomes, including connectivity between social resources and the actual needs for these underserved communities in remote areas.

As an effort to expand its partnership, SKDCC has also received free health coaching for its nurse staff and free nursing support from the project team of HomeAge of the City University of Hong Kong.

Tsz Kwan Lai
Assistant Operations Manager
ZeShan Foundation

Moreover, this project is also testing a community-based referral system for professional treatment and a co-payment system referencing government subsidy scale like Health Care Voucher and Community Care Service Voucher, etc. Evidence-based evaluation would also be conducted in order to assess the project outcomes, including connectivity between social resources and the actual needs for these underserved communities in remote areas.

As an effort to expand its partnership, SKDCC has also received free health coaching for its nurse staff and free nursing support from the project team of HomeAge of the City University of Hong Kong.

Tsz Kwan Lai
Assistant Operations Manager
ZeShan Foundation

Related Links

Website:

Media (Chinese Only):

外展護士:
不單照顧鄉郊長者的醫療需要 關心她們心靈及社福需要 @ 卓越實踐在社福2021
Link (Youtube 平台)

《凝聚香港》-西貢鄉郊流動醫療康健計劃 -重溫(7’39‘’開始)
Link (香港電台 Podcast)

Related Links

Website:

Media (Chinese Only):

外展護士:
不單照顧鄉郊長者的醫療需要 關心她們心靈及社福需要 @ 卓越實踐在社福2021
Link (Youtube 平台)

《凝聚香港》-西貢鄉郊流動醫療康健計劃 -重溫(7’39‘’開始)
Link (香港電台 Podcast)

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