Rent for clinics 'too high'

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 01 August, 1998, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 01 August, 1998, 12:00am

Doctors running out-patient clinics at housing estates are being charged rents well above market price, they claimed yesterday.

President of the Hong Kong Medical Association So Kai-ming said its members were discriminated against by the Housing Authority in its rent increase assessments - up to 50 per cent - to renew leases.

'They think medical practitioners make more money, that is why they are asking for more money,' Mr So said.

'The authority told practitioners to pay the new rent rates or move out.

'Health care is a service and the authority does not seem to see the importance in having continuity in this service on the estates.' Last month, four clinics in Long Ping Estate, Yuen Long, had their rent put up 52 per cent from $10,500 to $16,000 per month.

Mr So said an independent surveyor had valued the property at $7,000 under the current market.

'The whole of Hong Kong is talking about rent cuts and rent control but they are instead putting up the rent to exorbitant levels.' He criticised the authority as unreasonable in refusing to engage an independent surveyor.

Although half the population lived on housing estates, Mr So said a lot of residents in recent years had chosen to visit clinics away from the estates, which were just as accessible.