HKU planning to build medical school in Shenzhen to boost the Greater Bay Area

South China Morning Post

Hong Kong University says it wants to share its expertise, but critics are worried the new faculty will stretch resources

South China Morning Post |

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HKU already has a hospital in Shenzhen’s Futian district.

The University of Hong Kong (HKU) is planning to set up a new medical school in Shenzhen, in addition to its hospital there.

Professor Lo Chung-mau, head of University of Hong Kong-Shenzhen Hospital, confirmed the plans and said HKU had already looked at possible sites for the school.

“Shenzhen is in desperate need of training for medical professionals. If Hong Kong can bring our 130 years of experience of medical training across the border, it will boost the Greater Bay Area,” Lo said.

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He was referring to China’s plan to integrate Hong Kong and Macau with nine other cities around the Pearl River Delta, to form a hub of technology and innovation.

He dismissed worries that the new faculty would take resources away from the university’s teaching facility at Queen Mary Hospital in Hong Kong.

“Medical technology will not advance if we all stay in Hong Kong,” he said.

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However, a senior consultant doctor working in a Hong Kong public hospital, who did not want to be named, warned that the city’s health care system, which is already overstretched, would be further hurt.

“There is a shortage of teachers in schools already,” he said. “Many frontline doctors have been involved in the day-to-day medical teaching. And, as everyone knows, all hospitals across Hong Kong are short of doctors.”

Although HKU’s new Shenzhen faculty is expected to hire its own staff, the consultant believed senior professors would be sent to work across the border.

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The senior doctor, who also teaches at the university’s medical school, said some courses had received poor feedback from students, since only junior doctors were available for teaching.

“I hope we can help others, but only when we can take care of ourselves,” he said.