Work set to begin on Chinese medicine hospital

The government says Hong Kong’s first Chinese medicine hospital will have around 400 beds and 200 practitioners when it is running at full capacity, and will serve hundreds of thousands of people each year.

The hospital, which is expected to open by mid-2025, will be run by Baptist University under a public-private partnership arrangement, receiving around HK$1 billion in taxpayer funds each year for up to 25 years.

At a launch ceremony for the commissioning of the project on Monday, officials said construction work for the hospital will begin in the next couple of days.

The hospital, in Tseung Kwan O, will provide both public and private services.

It will also carry out research and become a training ground for Chinese medicine students from three local universities who currently receive some of their training at mainland hospitals.

The new hospital is expected to serve 310,000 day patients a year.

Project director Dr Cheung Wai-lun, said that at the beginning, the hospital will have several dozen Chinese medicine practitioners, around 20 to 30 nurses, and a couple of doctors trained in Western medicine.

He said the hospital will provide a wide range of services, from treating chronic and complex diseases, to rehabilitation and health maintenance services.

The hospital will use Chinese medicine as the predominant mode of treatment, he said, but it will be supplemented with Western medicine when necessary.

Cheung said patients suffering from chronic pain, for example, could receive mixed treatment using both Chinese and Western medicine.

“Even at this moment, a lot of patients seeking medical care cannot completely relieve their symptoms, because all this pain may not be identified even through Western medicine techniques. Secondly, there is a multifactorial situation affecting the pain, even psychological, so the Chinese Medicine Hospital, from the start of the service, [will provide] a programme to manage chronic pain,” he said.

He added that patients recuperating from strokes or other illnesses would also benefit from mixed treatment.

A board of directors comprising of 23 people from the Chinese and Western medicine sectors, universities, the Hospital Authority, the government and lay members, will manage the hospital.