Traditional Chinese Simplified Chinese Email this article
LCQ11: Kwong Wah Hospital redevelopment project

     Following is a question by the Hon James To and a written reply by the Secretary for Food and Health, Dr York Chow, in the Legislative Council today (November 16):


     The Tung Wah Group of Hospitals has been striving for the redevelopment of the Kwong Wah Hospital (KWH) and signed a Memorandum of Understanding for the redevelopment project with the Hospital Authority (HA) in 2009, but the redevelopment project has yet to commence.  The Chief Executive has also not mentioned the redevelopment of the hospital in his 2011-2012 Policy Address.  As far as I know, KWH is in urgent need of redevelopment, and also requires regular building safety inspections and maintenance (including annual inspection and engagement of overseas consultants to carry out a comprehensive structural inspection every five years to ensure building safety).  In reply to a Member's question earlier, the Government said that in the redevelopment of hospitals, it would take into account "the future population growth and ageing in the region, the demand for healthcare services, the overall provision of healthcare services in the various clusters under HA, as well as the development of public and private healthcare services".  As KWH cannot be redeveloped in the near future and the population of Kowloon West continues to grow, will the Government inform this Council whether it knows:

(a) the respective amounts of expenses (by year) incurred by KWH in the past five year on the engagement of consultants and maintenance for the two types of building inspections (annual inspection and five-yearly comprehensive structural inspection); whether any major structural safety problem has been identified; if so, of the details; the estimated amount of expense on the comprehensive structural inspection to be conducted next year;

(b) given that I have learnt that KWH has invited tenders for services of a consultant relating to the preliminary work of the redevelopment project (including traffic and heritage assessments), the current progress of the preliminary work and when it is expected to be completed;

(c) given that when briefing this Council on the proposed redevelopment of Caritas Medical Centre (CMC) in 2007, the Government indicated that as CMC had been in use for more than 40 years, its facilities were inadequate and outdated, and the population in the region was ageing, it was in urgent need of redevelopment, and as KWH is facing similar problems, whether the Government has made any relevant assessment of KWH (including the current utilisation rates and waiting times for various services and the impact of a growing elderly population in the region on the demand for medical services);

(d) given that the Government indicated in its reply to my earlier inquiry that the facilities of KWH had failed to adequately meet the modern operation needs and the increasing demand of the community for medical services, when the Government expects to seek funds from this Council to kick off the redevelopment of KWH; whether the Government has assessed the redevelopment costs; if so, of the amount involved; what measures it will adopt prior to the completion of the KWH redevelopment project to compensate for the current inadequate services in KWH; and

(e) what measures the Government will put in place to improve the overall hospital services in Kowloon West, apart from the soon-to-be-completed redevelopment project of CMC and the plan to develop the Centre of Excellence in Paediatrics in Kai Tak Development Area?



(a) Kwong Wah Hospital (KWH) would conduct annual review on the conditions of the hospital structure and facilities every year and carry out various minor maintenance and improvements works based on the review results.  Currently, the annual expenditure on minor maintenance works for the 41 public hospitals under Hospital Authority (HA) is about $310 million, of which about $18 million is for works in respect of KWH.  Besides, KWH would commission a professional architectural consultancy firm through open tender to conduct a comprehensive inspection every four to five years.  When the last comprehensive inspection was completed in late 2008, the report generally indicated that there was no structural problem.  The next major structural check will commence next year.  The expenditure incurred by such check can only be confirmed after the tendering exercise has been completed.

(b) The Traffic Impact Assessment and the Heritage Impact Assessment conducted for the KWH redevelopment project are underway and will be completed in early 2012.  Other preliminary work including preparation of the Schedule of Accommodation and the Functional Brief has also commenced and is expected to be completed within 2012.

(c) Given that most of the buildings of KWH are over 50 years old, HA has earlier submitted a proposal on the KWH redevelopment project to the Government for consideration.  It has also conducted various preliminary preparatory work, including preparation of the "Project Definition Statement", "Clinical Service Plan", "Master Development Plan" and "Technical Feasibility Statement", etc.  In the planning process, the Administration has taken into consideration a number of factors, such as the projected demand for healthcare services having regard to population growth and demographic changes in the district, the utilisation and estimated growth rate of services of individual specialties, and the possible changes in healthcare services utilisation pattern, etc.

     In 2010-11, the bed occupancy rate in KWH was 71%, and the median waiting time for first appointment at its specialist out-patient clinics was 10 weeks.  HA will regularly monitor the utilisation rate and trend of demand for various healthcare services and ensure that the services can meet public demand through continued restructuring of service delivery mode of hospitals, hospital development projects and implementation of other suitable measures.

(d) The Government will process the funding application for redevelopment of KWH in accordance with the established procedures to facilitate an early commencement of the project.  According to the preliminary estimate, the entire redevelopment project will cost over $8 billion.  We will make a more detailed estimate before seeking funding approval.  KWH will maintain a series of maintenance and repair measures before implementation of the redevelopment project.  It will also make service adjustments having regard to the utilisation of and demand for its services, so as to ensure that it can provide safe and appropriate healthcare services to the patients.

(e) To meet the increasing service needs and shorten the waiting time in the West Kowloon district, HA will strengthen its inpatient and integrated care services, including providing additional Haemodialysis places for renal patients, and extending the service hours of emergent coronary artery catheterisation surgery, etc.  Furthermore, to enhance service quality, HA will optimise the thoracic, rheumatic, ophthalmic and prenatal care services and implement a series of integrated care service programmes, such as the integrated chronic obstructive pulmonary disease management programme, the integrated care services for elderly patients and the integrated mental health programme, etc.

Ends/Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Issued at HKT 12:20


Print this page