HKIOC Collaborates with Zhongshan Chenxinghai Hospital, China (中山陳星海醫院) to launch Multi-Disciplinary Treatment (MDT) Remote Video Consultation for Patients
The epidemic, which lasted nearly two years, has devastated many businesses, but it also spawned new models of medical cooperation to benefit patients. It was in 2021 that Hong Kong Integrated Oncology Centre (HKIOC) and Zhongshan Chenxinghai Hospital (中山陳星海醫院) jointly launched the Multi-Disciplinary Treatment (MDT) remote video consultation service to increase accessibility to patients from Mainland China and Hong Kong who needed consultation. This is one of the first cross-border multidisciplinary medical platforms catering to the needs of cancer patients in Hong Kong and Mainland China.
Specialists in Clinical Oncology at HKIOC, Dr CHEUNG Foon Yiu and Dr Alan CHOY Tim Shing, agree that MDT benefits both patients and doctors, and is a major trend for future medical collaboration.
Dr Cheung Foon Yiu, Consultant Clinical Oncologist, HKIOC pointed out that cancer treatment is different from ordinary diseases. Cancer can appear everywhere in the human body. Tumors are generated in different locations. The information needs involved and treatment options often require the professional opinions of different specialists. Therefore, the clinical benefits of MDT are obvious. After a comprehensive discussion between the two teams of doctors, they were able to address almost all treatment aspects with thorough understanding of the patient’s emotions and other issues, naturally reducing patients’ worries and fears about treatment and beyond.
He believes that the collaboration can potentially increase opportunities to encounter more difficult-to-treat, rare cancers due to the sheer number of cancer patients in China. Cross-border MDT consultation will therefore be an excellent learning opportunity for Hong Kong doctors. Dr Cheung believes that Hong Kong doctors have an advantage because they have international experience and can quickly apply the latest research results and obtain more information. On the other hand, the experience and wisdom of mainland doctors, who are confronted with a large number of patients in daily life, help Hong Kong doctors to learn from their experience from time to time.
Dr Choy Tim Shing, Alan, Consultant Clinical Oncologist, HKIOC also added that MDT enables the joint management of patients by doctors in the two places. There are patients who have received treatment in Hong Kong but have not been able to come to Hong Kong during the epidemic and have to continue receiving treatment in the mainland. MDT may also benefit Hong Kong people or Mainland residents who plan to return to the Mainland to live or work after receiving treatment in Hong Kong.
Since doctors at the two institutions on either side of the border know and understand the patients through online consultations, they are able to align with each other to create a consistent treatment plan. No matter where the patients are, they have doctors who understand their situation to follow up, so they do not have to reiterate their medical history at every consultation, which is of great benefit to the patient’s treatment and rehabilitation.
Dr Choy also mentioned that doctors from both sides love who communication and embracing future medical trends and they have slowly developed a mutual understanding and deeper bond during many MDT consultations.
Successful real-life case example:
Patient R (pseudonym) received surgery, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy in Hong Kong after she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2012, and her health has been stable since then. However, in 2020, the cancer cells showed signs of spreading, leaving her alone for treatment in Hong Kong because of the pandemic outbreak, without her family taking care of her.
The patient’s husband, S (pseudonym), was very concerned about this and hoped that his wife could return to his side but can still receive advice and follow-up from Hong Kong doctors. Mr S was later recommended and learned from friends that Zhongshan Chenxinghai Hospital (中山陳星海醫院) in Zhongshan City, Guangdong Province, had an MDT consultation service and he decided to give it a try.
So, this year, he took his wife back to Zhongshan for treatment.
“Fighting cancer is a very difficult process, and when she comes back to be united with our family, I can go to the doctor with her and help her recover from her health condition.” Mr.S expressed his confidence in the treatment program by taking part in the entire MDT consultation process.
He added: “This is because it is a combination of advice from Hong Kong experts and mainland doctors, and it is not necessary for her stay in Hong Kong.” My wife’s situation is much better this year after returning from Hong Kong compared to last year,”