Date
24 August 2017
Shenzhen Binhai Hospital has been unable to repay a HK$166.7 million advance from the University of Hong Kong. HKU has rejected an offer to reimburse the amount when the hospital breaks even. Photo: http://www.hku-szh.org/
Shenzhen Binhai Hospital has been unable to repay a HK$166.7 million advance from the University of Hong Kong. HKU has rejected an offer to reimburse the amount when the hospital breaks even. Photo: http://www.hku-szh.org/

HKU wants money back from Shenzhen hospital venture

A hospital venture by the University of Hong Kong (HKU) in Shenzhen has been in financial crisis since its establishment in 2012, Ming Pao Daily reported Friday.

Shenzhen Binhai Hospital, which HKU operates with the Shenzhen city government, received a HK$166.7 million (US$21.51 million) advance from the university which has yet to be reimbursed.

HKU sought to recover the amount in February and March during talks about the hospital’s financial problems, the report said.     

A memorandum of understanding signed in 2012 between former HKU principal Tsui Lap-chee and the Shenzhen city government shows the latter is responsible for the hospital’s expenditure in its first five years of operation.

In fact, HKU paid the bill, the report said.

Last month, Shenzhen vice mayor Wu Yihuan proposed to repay the amount when the hospital breaks even but the offer was rejected by HKU.

Meanwhile, PricewaterhouseCoopers, which was hired by HKU to advise it on the matter, said the hospital might not break even until 2018 to 2023. 

Wu has ruled out terminating the cooperation, saying HKU should instead review its resources and help improve hospital services.

HKU’s board is set to hold a special meeting on the issue, with members expressing concern it might affect the university’s relationship with mainland authorities.

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TL/AC/RA

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