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Get Financial Assistance

Arthritis patients with financial difficulties could apply for the support scheme, which ranges from financial assistance for non-government subsidised medications, one-off financial subsidy for an emergency situation, and subsidy patients for purchasing self-financed expensive medications. We also provide fundings to patient groups for organising various activities to their members.

Patient Support Fund

The aim of the Patient Support Fund is providing financial assistance includes non-government subsidize medications, to purchase devices for arthritis rehabilitation, and to arrange necessary home modification. The applicant must be the Hong Kong resident and must certify diagnosis with any arthritis diseases by physicians. The Foundation will verify the application according to the applicant’s economical condition and its needs. The maximum subsidy per year is HK$6,000. For enquiries, please contact HKARF or Medical Social Workers in hospitals.

In April 2016, the financial criteria are released and Annual Disposable Financial Resources (ADFR) is increased from HK$30,000 to HK$50,000.

Emergency Fund

The aim of Emergency Fund is to provide a one-off financial assistance. The scope of the Emergency Fund includes assisting patients who are facing sudden and unforeseen financial hardship because of family crisis or unexpected change in their health condition. For instance, some patients lost their job because of their diseases or when they are undergoing medical treatment. The applicant must be the Hong Kong resident and must certify diagnosis with any arthritis diseases by physicians. For enquiries, please contact HKARF or Medical Social Workers in hospitals.


 

Expensive Drug Support Scheme

The aim of the Expensive Drug Support Scheme is to make recommendations to pharmaceutical companies to provide discounts to patients who need the use of certain expensive drugs but cannot afford to pay for full cost of these medications. The applicant must be the Hong Kong resident and must certify diagnosis with any arthritis diseases by physicians. The Foundation will verify the application according to the applicants’ economical condition and their needs. For enquiries, please contact HKARF or Medical Social Workers in hospitals under Hospital Authority.

There are 6 medications under the scheme:

  • Adalimumab (Humira®)
  • Certolizumab (Cimzia®)
  • Etanercept (Enbrel®)
  • Golimumab (Simponi®)
  • Tofacitinib (Xeljanz®)
  • Upadacitinib (RINVOQ®)

Please click below link to download the application form and guideline:

The application procedure:

FAQ about EDSS

Q1. Who is eligible to apply the Expensive Drug Support Scheme?
Ans: The patients suffered from arthritis diseases, who need to use the specific medication under the scheme, can apply the scheme with the recommendation form by Rheumatologists from public hospitals.

Q2. Can the patients from a private clinic or private hospital apply the scheme?
Ans: No, it is because all the applicants need to have a financial assessment by medical social workers in public hospitals.

Q3. How to apply the scheme?
Ans: The rheumatic patients who have the doctor recommendation form can visit the medical social welfare department and the medical social workers will process the application. The Foundation needs around 2 weeks to approve the application and the result of the applications will be sent to the applicants, related social workers and the doctors who made the referrals.

Q4. Is the medication fee reimbursed to the applicants?
Ans: No free medication should be provided to the patients under the scheme and no money will be involved.

Q5. How do the applicants get free medications?
Ans: For those using Infliximab (Remicade®), the patients will get 2 free infusions at the hospital provided by physicians.

Other than that, the patients using Etanercept (Enbrel®), Adalimumab (Humira®), Golimumab (Simponi®), Tofacitinib (Xeljanz®) and Certolizumab (Cimzia®) need to mail the receipts of purchasing the medication to the Foundation and our staff will arrange the patients to the specific community pharmacy to get the free medications.


 

Patient Activity Fund (Patient Groups Only)

The purpose of Arthritis & Rheumatism Patients Activity Fund is to offer sponsorship to registered patients’ self-help groups or other organizations, such as Patient Resource Centre, to organize activities that promote the well being of arthritis and rheumatism patients. There is no standard application form, an eligible group or organization is required to submit an application letter, as well as a breakdown of various activity expenditure items and other related materials. For enquiries, please contact HKARF.

The maximum amount for each application is increased from HK$5,000 to HK$8,000.00 from April 2016.


 

Special Project Fund (Patient Groups Only)

This funding aims to assist self-help groups to run new projects for the benefit of patients with arthritis and rheumatism. The maximum amount for each project is HK$20,000.


 

John Doe

Member