Hospital plan not for profit, university says

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 17 July, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 17 July, 2010, 12:00am

Chinese University's plan to build a private hospital in Tai Po will not be profit-oriented, its chief says.

Professor Joseph Sung Jao-yiu said the hospital would also practise corporate responsibility by employing people who had difficulty finding work.

Speaking on a radio programme, Sung said the university had submitted a proposal to the government for the site.

'Our university's teaching hospital has already established a brand,' he said, referring to the Prince of Wales Hospital in Sha Tin.

'[The public] have confidence in our services. We will adopt a charging system for the private hospital that is transparent and provides quality services,' he said.

The university is among 30 organisations that have expressed interest in building private hospitals on four sites offered by the government recently at Wong Chuk Hang, Tung Chung, Tai Po and Tseung Kwan O.

Union Hospital, which earlier submitted a proposal for the Wong Chuk Hang site, is also interested in developing a hospital in Tai Po with Chinese University.

Meanwhile, Sung reiterated the importance of political neutrality for a university. 'There should be a free [environment] where dissenting voices are protected.'

He said the university would consult students, teachers and alumni after the summer break on the placement of the Goddess of Democracy statue, which was carried from Victoria Park to the campus by students after the June 4 commemoration.

'The statue is currently next to the train station. Construction work to strengthen the statue has been completed. It will be temporarily placed there.'

He said the university committee had already approved placement of a statue of Sun Yat-sen, donated by Sun's granddaughter, on the campus but was still deciding where to put it.

'Sun is the founder of modern China. He overthrew the Qing dynasty. We couldn't put his statue in a nook or by the roadside. We need to find a suitable place for it. The plinth weighs four tonnes.

'Due to its heavy weight, we can't put it anywhere like the rooftop of a building. If it is put in one of our colleges, we need to reach a consensus with the college's students and teachers first.'

Sun's granddaughter, Lily Sun Sui-fong, earlier complained that the statue was in a storeroom with no indication of when it would go on show.

The Goddess of Democracy statue was confiscated by police on the eve of the June 4 vigil. It was later moved to Chinese University, which rejected a request in June for it to be brought to the campus.