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Government provides COVID-19 oral drugs to private doctors
     The Government announced on April 2 that it would gradually provide free COVID-19 oral drugs, namely Paxlovid and Molnupiravir, to private doctors with a view to enabling private doctors to prescribe these two COVID-19 oral drugs to suitable COVID-19 patients.

     "Our top priority now is not only to suppress the epidemic and reduce infection, but also to strengthen the protection for the elderly and children, and to reduce the numbers of severe cases and deaths caused by the epidemic. As the guardians of Hong Kong's public health and the well-being of our citizens, all healthcare professionals in Hong Kong have an obligatory duty to stand at the forefront of the fight against the epidemic and to mobilise all available manpower to support various anti-epidemic measures. In addition to enlisting support from private hospitals and private doctors in the fight against the epidemic in different roles earlier, we also call upon private doctors to help treat the patients, especially high-risk ones, to reduce the risk of deterioration of their clinical conditions," a spokesman for the Food and Health Bureau said.

     At present, the Hospital Authority (HA) prescribes the two COVID-19 oral drugs Paxlovid and Molnupiravir to patients at various facilities, including HA hospitals, community treatment facilities, designated clinics and residential care homes for the elderly. The nursing team from the Patient Support Call Centre of the HA also proactively contacts patients of the high-risk groups for prescription of the oral drugs at designated clinics. To extend support to more COVID-19 patients, the HA has been providing COVID-19 drugs, including the two oral drugs, to private hospitals and doctors in holding centres. As at April 1, the HA has prescribed Paxlovid and Molnupiravir to over 7 100 and 15 800 patients respectively. The HA will continue to provide clear and succinct information and guidelines on the oral drugs to doctors through different channels to assist them in prescribing the COVID-19 oral drugs to patients.

     Private doctors should accord priority to support and treat high-risk patients as far as practicable, including elderly aged 60 or above, children aged 5 or below, women at 28 or more weeks of pregnancy, and immunocompromised patients such as organ transplant recipients and those with immune system disorders or long-term use of immunosuppressive drugs. Private doctors should not charge patients any fee for the COVID-19 oral drugs.

     The Government is optimising relevant computer systems, including the Electronic Health Record Sharing System, to allow private doctors to register the information of patients who have been prescribed COVID-19 oral drugs. The Government will issue letters to private doctors in due course to explain the arrangements such as drug distribution and registration of patient information.
Ends/Sunday, April 3, 2022
Issued at HKT 1:20
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