Horsing around at Tuen Mun Hospital?
I recently attended Tuen Mun Hospital’s (TMH) 25th anniversary cocktail reception which was graced by a number of heavyweights of the healthcare profession. While at the event, I overheard someone saying that a stable was part of the original construction plan for TMH. I was surprised and, frankly, somewhat skeptical – what place would horses have at a hospital that only opened in 1990?
To get to the bottom of this strange story, I asked Dr Que Tak-lun, Chief of Service (Clinical Pathology), if he knew anything about it. According to Dr Que, a stable was indeed included in the plans for TMH. As horse’s blood is similar to human blood, it is often used by pathologists to test and analyse the effects of inoculums. At the time, it was felt that the easiest way to ensure a steady supply was to have an onsite stable facility.
However, by the time TMH was established, the Government had concluded an agreement with The Hong Kong Jockey Club to provide horse blood for medical research. With this development, the stable was no longer required and was repurposed as a storage facility for medical records.