Shenzhen hospital to pay University of Hong Kong advance by 2023

PUBLISHED : Monday, 05 October, 2015, 11:28pm
UPDATED : Monday, 05 October, 2015, 11:42pm

A Shenzhen hospital managed by the University of Hong Kong is expected to repay a HK$200 million advance, to fund clinical management and supervision, by 2023, the chairman of HKU's governing council says.

The HKU-Shenzhen Hospital in Futian also started accepting health care vouchers from Hongkongers aged at least 70 from Tuesday.

Under the scheme, each eligible Hongkonger gets HK$2,000 in a registered voucher account that can pay for medical services in the private sector.

"They are not required to stay on the mainland," Chief Secretary Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor said.  "The elderly, especially those living in North district, can also use the vouchers in the well-equipped HKU-Shenzhen Hospital."

HKU council chairman Edward Leong Che-hung said the hospital would be able to break even in 2017 and return the HK$200 million granted for operational needs.

READ MORE: Hong Kong elderly health care scheme extended to HKU-Shenzhen hospital under new deal

In July last year, HKU and the Shenzhen government argued over who should pay for the hospital's debts, with reports saying the school's chances of recovering the sum were not high. Shenzhen deputy mayor Wu Yihuan said the repayment would be forthcoming only when the hospital was financially viable.

A pact-signing ceremony was held in Shenzhen yesterday agreeing to extend the use of the voucher scheme in hospitals across the border.

The voucher is applicable to outpatient services at the hospital, including preventive care and rehabilitative treatment, such as physiotherapy.

Inpatient and prepaid health care services are excluded, as are purchases of drugs or medical equipment without prior consultation.

Hospital charges, imposed in yuan, will be converted into Hong Kong dollars and deducted directly from the voucher account. The Hong Kong government will update the voucher conversion rate monthly.