HKUMed News (Vol 26 | Issue 2)

bring Mainland students and academics to the Faculty. Engagement began to extend into research collaborations, particularly in the wake of the H5N1 and SARS outbreaks. Then in 2009, circumstances combined to create an extraordinary opportunity. HKUMed was looking at that time to expand its hospital network for both teaching and research purposes. Professor Tang was stepping down as President of the Hong Kong Academy of Medicine and visiting the Ministry of Health to say goodbye. She asked thendean Professor Lee if he would like her to convey any message. His answer: ‘Ask about a teaching hospital.’ ‘Right away the Minister said, “Oh, we are building a new hospital in Shenzhen. You can certainly help us to do some medical reform,”’ Professor Tang said. That set the wheels in motion for the HKU-Shenzhen Hospital, which is under the clinical management of HKUMed and opened its doors in 2012; it ↓Professor John Leong at the 301 People's Liberation Army Main Hospital (mid 1980s) 梁智仁教授到解放軍 (總醫院交流 1980年代中期) (Photo courtesy of Professor John Leong 梁智仁教授供圖) ↑2014 East-West Alliance Global Symposia 2014 年東西方聯盟 全球研討會 now treats 10,000 patients a day across all departments. Professor Tang was its first chief executive and she implemented a new culture of delivering healthcare on the Mainland, such as packaged fees, an appointment system, the banning of ‘red packets’ and refusing to administer unnecessary treatments, such as intravenous drips for minor common ailments. In 2015, the Wall Street Journal described the hospital as ‘China’s most dramatic experiment’ in healthcare, while noting it was one of several dozen reforms being tested around the country. ‘I don’t for one moment think that we are more advanced than they are. Their equipment is more advanced for one thing. I didn’t feel I was there to tell them what to do. I was there to set up a system and build a hospital that we think is good. It’s up to them to take it as an example,’ Professor Tang said. The going was not easy. Many obstacles had to be overcome – resistance in the University to the undertaking, debt repayments to resolve, labour unease, and scarcity of supplies at the beginning. But these were tackled through perseverance on both sides, including by Professor Tang and her successor Professor Lo Chung-mau. The outcome is so successful that in 2027, the Faculty’s 140th anniversary, the hospital will complete a new clinical block with 1,000 additional beds and a research block with equivalent floor area to the Laboratory Block at 21 Sassoon Road. Moreover, further opportunity for a presence in the GBA is coming through a memorandum of understanding that the University signed with Shenzhen in 2021 to establish a second campus in Nanshan district. The country’s 14th Five-Year Plan also envisions health innovation and technology to be a strategic cornerstone for the GBA – areas in which the Faculty is building significant capacity through the InnoHK projects, among other endeavours. ‘Hong Kong has a leading edge as Asia’s medical hub. All the ingredients for integrated success are ripe for harvest. Our job is to ensure the fruits are picked in good time,’ Professor Leung said. 13 HKUMed News Winter 2021