The Hong Kong Sanatorium and Hospital hopes to open a state-of-the-art radiotherapy facility in Shau Kei Wan in 2019. The facility would occupy four basement floors of a planned 23-storey private medical centre.
While rezoning of the land for the proposed site in A Kung Ngam has been agreed, the project still requires approval from the Town Planning Board.
The centre, focusing on cancer treatment, would include a 24-hour outpatient clinic with a maximum of 100 beds, as well as facilities for chemotherapy, traditional radiotherapy and proton therapy - a newly developed form of radiotherapy.
Eastern District Council members had raised concerns that people living in the area would be priced out of the new centre, and questioned the potential impact of medical and radioactive waste on nearby schools and homes.
After a meeting with hospital representatives, local residents have "basically accepted" the hospital's safety reassurances, said Eastern District Council member Christopher Chung Shu-kun.
The hospital also said it would offer discounted services to patients of Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern, a public hospital in Chai Wan.
Dr Joseph Chan Woon-tong, head of the hospital's department of family medicine and primary care, said proton beam therapy is more accurate and efficient than traditional radiotherapy, but costs almost twice as much - about HK$300,000 for each course of treatment.
Staff will travel overseas to receive training, while experts in proton therapy have been invited to the hospital to share their experience.
Among those was Professor Nancy Mendenhall, medical director at the University of Florida's Proton Therapy Institute.
"X-ray radiation is like a bullet that leaves a track of damage. Protons stop in the cancer target and leave less deposits on the way," said Mendenhall.
She believes proton therapy will in time replace traditional radiotherapy.