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LCQ19: Queen Mary Hospital and Kwong Wah Hospital redevelopment project

     Following is a question by the Hon Chan Hak-kan and a written reply by the Secretary for Food and Health, Dr York Chow, in the Legislative Council today (January 11):


     It has been reported that the Hospital Authority (HA) does not have any specific plan to redevelop the Queen Mary Hospital (QMH) and Kwong Wah Hospital (KWH), yet as both of them are major acute hospitals in their respective hospital clusters and have been completed and commissioned for years, their designs have long been unable to cater for the operation needs of the present day, thus affecting the work efficiency of healthcare staff as well as the quality of the services provided, and causing inconvenience to patients.  In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) whether it knows the various capital works projects (with the relevant information including the project title, description, location and expenditure incurred, etc. set out in detail in table form) to be taken forward by HA in the coming three financial years;

(b) whether it knows the respective expenditure on maintenance and repairs incurred by HA for each public hospital in the past three years, with a breakdown (in table form) by name of hospital;

(c) whether it knows if HA has any plan to improve the respective environment of QMH and KWH in the near future; if it has, of the details and the way to reduce the impacts on the healthcare staff and patients when the works projects are in progress; if not, the reasons for that; whether preliminary studies will first be conducted on the redevelopment or expansion of QMH and KWH at the current stage so that the time required for the works projects can be reduced in future;

(d) whether it knows the factors to be considered by HA in assessing the redevelopment or expansion of hospitals, and how priorities are set; and

(e) given the Government's relatively strong financial position at present, whether the Government will take the lead to earmark funds for HA to redevelop or expand its hospitals, and request HA to make long-term planning to meet its future service needs?



(a) In the coming three financial years, the Hospital Authority (HA) will take forward the four capital works projects are shown in Annex.

(b) The Government granted allocation under Head 708 Subhead 8100MX every year to HA to carry out minor improvement, repair and maintenance works for public hospitals.  Each year, HA conducts review on the conditions of the structures and facilities of its 41 public hospitals and, on the basis of the outcome of the review, determines the order of priority and the amount of funding for implementation of various minor maintenance and improvements works in the coming three years.  Under such circumstances, the expenditure on repair and maintenance works of each public hospital may vary substantially each year.  The expenditures on minor repair and maintenance works of public hospitals in the past two years were $330 million and $290 million respectively, and that for this year is estimated to be $310 million.

(c) Although most of the buildings of the Queen Mary Hospital (QMH) and Kwong Wah Hospital (KWH) were built in early years, no structural problem has been found since the measure of conducting annual review and maintenance works has been proved effective.  Notwithstanding the above, in order to cope with the service development of both hospitals and to meet the needs of patients for healthcare services, HA has earlier submitted proposals for redevelopment of QMH and KWH for consideration by the Government, with a view to enhancing the environment and facilities of both hospitals.  Having considered the information submitted by HA, including the needs and specific details of the two projects, the Government has accepted the two redevelopment proposals in principle.

     Before the formal implementation of the redevelopment project, HA has to carry out preliminary planning work, including various preliminary technical assessments to ascertain the project's technical feasibility.  HA has already commenced the relevant preliminary planning and study for the two hospitals while both hospitals will continue to have a series of measures to carry out maintenance and repair for upkeeping the environment for their healthcare staff and patients.  In 2011-12, for instance, the expenditures on minor repair and maintenance works of QMH and KWH are about $36 million and $18 million respectively.  In the meantime, both hospitals will make service adjustments having regard to the utilisation of and demand for their services, so as to ensure that they can provide safe and appropriate healthcare services to the patients.

     After completion of the relevant preparatory works and detailed estimation of the capital works expenditures, we will process the funding applications of the two hospitals according to the established procedures and seek funding approval from the Legislative Council for commencement of the works.

(d) In determining the order of priority for development of new hospitals and expansion or redevelopment of existing hospitals, HA will take into account the future population growth and ageing in different regions, the demand for healthcare services, the overall provision of healthcare services in the various clusters under HA, the conditions of the hospitals' structures and facilities, HA's long-term objectives and strategies for its overall service development, as well as the development of public and private healthcare services.

(e) HA conducts long-term planning for provision of public healthcare services on an on-going basis.  In the process, HA takes into account a number of factors, including the projected demand for healthcare services having regard to population growth and demographic changes, the growth rate of services of individual specialties, the possible changes in healthcare services utilisation pattern, and the standards required of modern medical equipment etc. so that planning can be made for provision of services and hardware facilities in public hospitals to meet the demand for healthcare services.  The Government will continue to conduct planning for the hardware of medical facilities on a need basis, and handle funding application in accordance with the established procedures to ensure that the public will continue to be provided with adequate quality medical facilities.

Ends/Wednesday, January 11, 2012
Issued at HKT 18:48


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