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Concerted effort on Sichuan medical and health projects (with photos)  

The Sichuan reconstruction medical and health projects supported by the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) are not easy tasks that can be undertaken by one side alone. They involve a close partnership between the Sichuan and Hong Kong governments, between industry and government, and between the people of both sides.

The HKSAR Government has committed $1.675 billion (RMB1.47 billion) from the HKSAR's Trust Fund in Support of Reconstruction in the Sichuan Earthquake Stricken Areas to support the reconstruction of 35 medical and health projects, including 32 hospitals and health-care centres, a provincial rehabilitation centre (Sichuan-Hong Kong Rehabilitation Centre) and a long-distance medical platform, in 10 cities in Sichuan Province.

The scope of the projects covers reconstruction of medical and rehabilitation facilities and, where applicable, provision of relevant medical equipment.

The Food and Health Bureau (FHB) is responsible for co-ordinating and monitoring the reconstruction of the 35 Hong Kong-funded medical and health projects.

The Hospital Authority has been actively supporting the HKSAR Government's support work in Sichuan reconstruction.

A project team, the Sichuan Reconstruction Project Planning (SRPP) team, was set up in October 2008 to provide professional advice and executive support to the FHB on the reconstruction of rehabilitation and medical facilities in Sichuan.

The Hospital Authority has also invited its rehabilitation professionals, including orthopaedists, clinical psychologists, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, prosthetists and orthotists, to form a Rehabilitation Expert Group.

Co-ordinated by the SRPP team, the expert group provides professional advice for the planning and implementation of the Sichuan-Hong Kong Rehabilitation Centre and Rehabilitation Services Centres for the Disabled led by the Labour and Welfare Bureau.

Other than that, the Development Bureau and volunteers from industry provide strong professional support on the technical side. It would not have been possible to achieve the progress in such a short time without the unswerving support of HKSAR government departments, the project owners and various Sichuan government agencies.

The difficulty of building medical facilities is undoubtedly higher than that of building other facilities in view of strict requirements on professional auxiliary building services. As at July 2011, construction work on nine medical and health projects (involving eight hospitals and health-care centres) had been completed, and construction work for other projects is steadily progressing.

Recalling the past two years' experience working on Sichuan reconstruction, the Project Co-ordinator of the SRPP team, Mr Chu Ming, said, "I'm glad that I have been able to play a part in Hong Kong's reconstruction efforts in Sichuan regardless of the hardship that we have been through."

There is no doubt that everyone who has worked on Sichuan reconstruction projects would agree with Mr Chu that having the chance to work on Sichuan reconstruction is both an honour and a pleasure.

Ends/Monday, September 5, 2011
Issued at HKT 15:22