Record-breaking donation set to fund medical innovation and cancer research centres

Jockey Club gives HK$1.24 billion to University of Hong Kong, beating the HK$1 billion donation from city’s richest man, Li Ka-Shing, in 2005

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 29 June, 2017, 9:44am
UPDATED : Thursday, 29 June, 2017, 9:45am

Hong Kong’s oldest university has secured the largest single donation in its 105 year history to help fund a clinical innovation centre and cancer institute at Grantham Hospital in Wong Chuk Hang.

The Jockey Club’s HK$1.24 billion endowment to the University of Hong Kong exceeds the record HK$1 billion donated by city’s richest man Li Ka-shing, whose name was added to the institution’s medical faculty, in 2005.

Technical and feasibility studies are underway and when the two facilities are completed around 2024 they could benefit some 220,000 patients, carers and students each year, according to the university.

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The centre is also expected to boost cancer-related scientific research and innovation and upgrade preventive care, diagnosis, treatment, rehabilitation and palliation services within the public hospital network.

“Service quality will definitely improve as will service quantity,” Dr Luk Che-chung, chief of the Hong Kong West cluster of hospitals, which includes Queen Mary – the university’s teaching hospital – and Grantham, said.

The project will be part of a planned revamp for the 60-year-old Grantham Hospital under the government’s HK$200 billion 10-year hospital development blueprint, launched in 2016.

It was proposed in that year’s policy address that the hospital be redeveloped as a free-standing, academic ambulatory centre focussed on cancer services by integrating clinical services, teaching and research.

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“The centre and the institute ... will reinforce the new role of the hospital by providing seamless cancer services from prevention, diagnosis and treatment to rehabilitation and survivor care,” said Chief Secretary Matthew Cheung Kin-chung at the announcement ceremony on Wednesday.

“It will also serve as a training ground for clinicians and scientists to propel the development of an innovation and technology-driven health care model for Hong Kong.”

No timetable or specifications are available yet but HKU medical school dean Professor Gabriel Leung said more details would be unveiled next month.