Domestic violence | Recovering victim has MOP 1.8m in medical expenses

The victim of a domestic violence case

Authorities have issued an update on the condition of a 31-year-old woman who was the victim of a domestic violence case in July 2018.

According to the Health Bureau (SSM), the patient has been under the care of local health authorities who sent her to the Ophthalmology and Burns units at Prince Wales Hospital, Hong Kong in August 2018, in order to minimize the impact of the injuries sustained.

In spite of this, her vision has been seriously compromised, although the SSM notes that she has been showing good progress in her recovery.

In a statement, the bureau noted that the government has been sponsoring the woman’s treatment, both locally and abroad, with expenses that already amount to over MOP1.8 million.

In an update on the patient’s medical status, SSM said that the woman’s burns are now healed and the patient had undergone several surgeries in Hong Kong to repair her ocular injuries, but her eyesight could not be restored to an acceptable level.

At the request of the family, the patient has been discharged from hospital but continues to be treated in the outpatient clinic of the public hospital.

The case has once again come to the public’s attention, after the patient’s request for surgery in the United Kingdom was denied by SSM. Osteo-odonto- keratoprosthesis is a medical procedure to restore vision in the most severe cases of corneal and ocular surface patients.
SSM notes that after a discussion with the medical board which decides on medical treatments performed abroad, this kind of surgery was not considered compatible with the type of injuries sustained by the patient, and that some surgical complications could lead to complete blindness, or even necessitate removal of the eye. Hence the bureau found it was “not advisable for the patient to receive such treatment.”

The Social Welfare Bureau also issued a statement on the case, noting that they have been in close contact with both the family and SSM to provide assistance, namely financial support in the form of several subsidies, as well as supporting the victim’s six-year-old son who is housed in an institution for the time being. RM

Agnes Lam calls for support of victim

Agnes Lam (center)

Lawmaker Agnes Lam organized a press conference to shed light on the victim’s case and call for support for the woman, whose severe injuries had been inflicted by her husband.

Lam explained that the attack, performed with boiling oil and drain cleaning liquid, resulted in injuries including burns in 40 percent of her face, head and body, blindness, and loss of control of her limbs.

The woman was comatose for 13 days, and has made a partial recovery after many surgeries and medical interventions.

Lam also highlighted that the patient’s request for osteo-odonto-keratoprosthesis surgery was reiterated in her last medical report in Hong Kong, where the physician in charge of her case reported that it was the “only option left” to restore some degree of the patient’s eye-sight.

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