In Focus    |    01.2021

LKSF delivers the sword and shield to medical professionals

Hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, the resilience of medical facilities and the people who staff them has been sorely tested. But through strong engagement with public and private medical communities, the Li Ka Shing Foundation (LKSF) is uniquely positioned to deliver support to where it is most needed.

The global PPE panic

Early in the pandemic, medical professionals could not secure personal protective equipment (PPE) as a global scramble erupted to lay hands on the life-saving equipment. Staff in many countries risked working without protection to tend to the sick.

The LKSF stepped up, with the support of CK Group resources, to deploy its global sourcing expertise – as important as financial firepower in this instance – which allowed for speed and execution in a time of crisis. Over HK$180 million in cash and in PPE flowed from the Foundation to those who needed it most to undertake their missions of mercy.

A shield for Hong Kong

The spirit of medical staff in Hong Kong galvanised the LKSF. The Foundation acted quickly to help them by sourcing and funding HK$64 million worth of PPE and health supplements for workers at the official Hospital Authority facilities that treat the majority of Hong Kong’s 7.4 million people on a daily basis.

However, if private hospitals and clinics were forced to close their doors due to a lack of PPE, then pressure on the public system would only increase. Private hospitals were therefore recipients of masks and PPE, ensuring they could keep functioning, seeing patients and testing suspected cases. The same applied to private clinics which help to confirm and disconfirm the presence of the virus in patients.

Medical schools also undertook important virus-fighting roles, and received masks and protective gear to keep medical students and university staff safe. There were also donations made to researchers at the forefront of research into vaccines and rapid-testing protocols – the swords to strike at the spread of the virus.

The most vulnerable people in society found it extremely difficult to secure masks to protect themselves and their families, but LKSF was there for them, providing masks for daily protection.

Hitting the virus hard, fast, and early

Resources … combined with expertise, heart and determination … can have an undeniable life-saving effect.

Today Wuhan, China, is essentially COVID-19 free and normal life has mostly resumed. But at the beginning of the global outbreak, resources were desperately needed to support front-line medical professionals in the Chinese city. LKSF provided HK$100 million to support those professionals from all across China who worked around the clock to save the people of Wuhan.

LKSF has contributed to the city’s medical development in the past, including hospice care for cancer patients being treated at Zhongnan Hospital, Wuhan University since 2001. It also supported the disabled in China with the fitting of prosthetics, education and rehabilitation for children with cerebral palsy, and door-to-door services offered by hundreds of social organisations under its Cheung Kong New Milestone Program.

Money isn’t everything. But when it is combined with expertise, heart and determination, and then channelled through long-standing relationships built on trust, it can have an undeniable life-saving effect that brings hope to millions.

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