A fund for patients with Parkinson’s disease was established by the Shanghai Neuromedical Center in Putuo District and the Shanghai Senior Care Foundation on Thursday.
Parkinson’s disease, which mostly affects elderly people, is a long-term and degenerative neurological disease that causes a person to lose control over some bodily functions.
Through medication and surgery, patients can have a better quality of life. Operations can help patients delay side-effects caused by medication.
Luo Zhongqiu, director of the hospital’s Parkinson’s disease treatment center, said he regretted seeing some patients having to give up on operations due to lack of funds.
The annual number of operations on Parkinson’s disease in Shanghai is below 1,000, while 8 percent of patients with the disease in the US have operations, Luo said. One percent of people in China over the age of 65 are affected by the disease, but it’s estimated that 60 percent of them have no access to professional treatment.
“The operation treatment for patients with the disease has existed for decades, but it’s still quite unaffordable to many families here,” he said. “We hope more patients will get proper treatment in time and take their time for more medical progress on the disease to come.”
Under the fund, the hospital hopes to gather a team of specialists to improve the diagnosis and establish a database of patients.
Patients from poor families will have priority to be funded for treatment, and doctors will impart professional knowledge on the disease to all patients through educational packages.
Guo Hui, director of the hospital, said the fund aims to address the ever larger number of patients of the disease in the city as its population is aging fast.
“Our hospital will contribute 1 million yuan (US$154,400) a year for three years to the program to help patients with the disease to live a better life,” he said.
Gan Weigang, the foundation’s secretary-general, said the fund will target the needs of patients in Putuo, Xuhui, Changning and Fengxian districts in the first stage of its operation.