The University of Hong Kong Faculty of Medicine is planning to spend over HK$1 billion to build a new teaching building near Queen Mary Hospital and a new student residential hall.
The construction project will also cover the expansion of the existing medicine center eastwards of Sassoon Road in Pok Fu Lam, with executives eyeing completion by 2028.
In a media session Wednesday, Dean of Medicine Lau Chak-sing, also one of the government's Covid
-19 advisors, said the number of students studying in the faculty surged from about 1,300 to over 3,500 in the span of 20 years.
He pointed out that the faculty is now in desperate need of additional medical equipment because of overwhelming use, with the number of programs offered increased from four to seven. Lau continued that additional equipment was necessary, saying the number of projects and researchers is also on the rise.
Meanwhile, Chan Ying-shing, the faculty's Director for Development and Infrastructure, said the expansion project comes in the short-term and mid-to-long term. The former will include building an anatomy laboratory, while the latter will cover the construction of the new teaching building and residence hall.
The new building near Queen Mary Hospital will provide convenience for students and teachers from traveling in between, and there will be more room for teaching. Chan noted that there will also be a new laboratory dedicated to research on stem cells and genetics, as well as other teaching facilities that will benefit senior-year students.
Chan referred to the government's budget announced in 2018/19, in which authorities said they would allocate HK$20 billion to HKU, the Chinese University, and the Polytechnic University for relevant construction works and to upgrade their medical teaching facilities.
Chan expected the faculty's expansion project would cost over HK$1 billion, but authorities' funding would be sufficient to cover all the work.
The team is working hard on the pre-construction research, and the funding request can be tabled at the Legislative Council in time by the end of this year, Chan said. He added the work can start in 2024 if they are granted the funding and expected completion by 2027/28.