PRIVATE hospitals are uniting in a battle to regain patients from the expanding Hospital Authority and cut costs by buying medicines in bulk.
Twelve institutions are deciding whether to commit themselves to the new league of hospitals, which will be officially registered.
Private hospitals are fighting for survival after losing thousands of patients since the setting up of the Hospital Authority in 1991, with some reporting occupancy rates of just 30 per cent.
The chief executive of Sha Tin's Union Hospital, Dr Ben Fong Yuk-fai, said forming a registered association would boost the status and strength of private hospitals.
'Mass purchasing is a good start,' Dr Fong said.
'We are writing down the types of medicine and equipment each hospital uses. When we find out the common items, we will save a lot of costs in bulk purchase.'