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Monday, Jul 15, 2024

Kwong Wah Hospital in Hong Kong to open new 17-storey complex at end of month

Kwong Wah Hospital in Hong Kong to open new 17-storey complex at end of month

Complex features an emergency unit 2.6 times bigger than old one and offers 40 ward beds.

A new complex at Hong Kong’s century-old Kwong Wah Hospital will begin offering service at the end of the month, with new ambulatory and emergency facilities that authorities hope will shorten the waiting time for patients seeking urgent care.

The two-phase project at the hospital in Yau Ma Tei is part of a wider 10-year effort to increase the capacity of the public healthcare system through redeveloping and expanding existing healthcare facilities, among other changes. The overhaul was announced in the chief executive’s 2016 policy address.

The exterior of the new complex in Yau Ma Tei.

One of the highlights of the new 17-storey complex, with a combined floor area of 145,000 square metres (1.56 million sq feet), is an accident and emergency unit 2.6 times bigger than the old one and offering 40 ward beds.

“In the past, patients who registered always had to wait due to insufficient space for a doctor’s consultation, especially for non-emergency cases, but with more space and smoother procedures, the situation will improve a lot,” said Dr Tang Kam-shing, chief executive of the hospital.

“With an emergency ward, those who need quick and urgent treatment could be treated there and be discharged quickly, instead of going through the hospital admission procedure.”

Kwong Wah Hospital is the only public medical institution where the accident and emergency department was not designed with a dedicated ward, according to Tang.

The A&E department will open at the complex on May 31, with no interrupting of service expected.

Tang also vowed the hospital would maintain close contact with the Fire Services Department, taxi dispatches and the public to prevent confusion.

Non-emergency outpatient services, among others, will be gradually relocated to the new complex from late April. Patients will be moved from the middle of the following month and all of the previous wards will be vacated within three to four weeks.

The new complex, which took six years to complete, also features more than 60 isolation beds.

Another key focus of the 10-year redevelopment project is the expansion of one-stop ambulatory care service centres to reduce hospitalisations.

Tang said some patients, especially those with chronic illnesses, could follow up at the centres, instead of queueing at the A&E department.

For example, patients who need orthopaedic surgery could have pre- and post- operative consultations at the centre, which measures 700 square metres in total.

“The old centre was only 200 square metres and patients have to do pre-op assessment, wound cleaning and ultrasound tests on the same bed,” said Dr Wong Kam-kwong, service chief of the hospital’s department of orthopaedics and traumatology.

“Now those procedures can be handled in separate zones, and we have 10 day care beds for patients to rest after surgery.”

The new complex, which took six years to complete, also features more than 60 isolation beds, and an extra 90 regular beds which can be converted for isolation if needed.

The number of operating theatres will grow from 10 to 20, with four located at the new complex and six others to be built in the second phase of the redevelopment.

A new oncology department should allow the hospital to treat more cancer patients, Tang said.

The hospital’s ambulatory orthopaedic service centre.

Kwong Wah Hospital will also be the first public healthcare facility fully covered by the 5G network, which is deemed essential to the development of telemedicine service.

The hospital is now seeking funding from the Legislative Council’s Finance Committee for the second phase of the redevelopment, which centres on another new complex slated to be finished by 2027.

Demolition of the block that houses the current A&E department is expected to start in the second half of the year.

The main construction work for the first phase was projected to cost more than HK$10 billion (US$1.27 billion), while the second phase is expected to cost HK$9.8 billion.


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