Kwong Wah Hospital Hospital Authority

Milestone

The Beginning   Kwong Wah Hospital Reconstruction Project   Major Refurbishment and Outpatient Programme   Graduation Ceremony of the Last Nursing Class   Asia Hospital Management Awards 2011   Asia Hospital Management Awards 2010 Excellence Award   Funding for Preparation of Kwong Wah Hospital Major Reconstruction Project Approved by LegCo Finance Committee
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  Hospital Expansion   Handover of Management to Hospital Authority   Covered Walkway Project   100th Anniversary   First Award of Caring Organisation Logo   Restoration of Kwong Wah Hospital Admission and Discharge Registry 1917   Kwong Wah Hospital/Tung Wah Group of Hospitals Wong Tai Sin Hospital Awarded 5 Years Plus Caring Organisation Logo by the Hong Kong Council of Social Service  

The Beginning

Kwong Wah Hospital in 1911

Kwong Wah Hospital was established in 1911 by the Board of Directors of the Tung Wah Group of Hospitals. It was the first hospital in Kowloon. The construction of Kwong Wah Hospital was proposed by Sir Kai Ho Kai, government-appointed Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Tung Wah Group of Hospitals who was a famous lawyer and politician at the time. The hospital was named “Kwong Wah” because it was intended to serve Chinese people living in Guangdong.

Grand opening ceremony of the KWH in 1911.

Grand opening ceremony of KWH in 1911

In the early days of the 20th century, there were no hospitals in Kowloon. Patients who needed treatment in hospitals had to take a long journey across the harbour to Hong Kong Island where hospitals were located. In 1907, a group of well-respected community leaders proposed the construction of a Chinese hospital in Yau Ma Tei to address healthcare demands arising as a result of the rapidly increasing population in Kowloon and New Territories. On 24 August 1911, Section 38 of the 1911 Expansion of Tung Wah Hospital Ordinance was passed by the government, which resulted in the allocation of 123,500 square feet of land in Yau Ma Tei for hospital construction. At the same time, a development fund of HKD 30,000 (as below) and an annual operation subsidy of HKD 6,500 were granted, with any shortfall in funding to be made up by Board of Directors in office. The construction of Kwong Wah Hospital was completed in 5 years at a cost of HKD 139,340. Its opening ceremony was held on 9 October 1911 and officiated by Sir Frederick John Dealtry Lugard, then Governor of Hong Kong. One day after its opening (10 October), the Wuchang Uprising broke out, which led to the end of imperial rule by the Qing Dynasty and the beginning of democratic rule under the Republic of China.

There were 6 Directors serving the KWH when it was first established: Chan Pak Peng, Fong Kin Cuo, Tsui Di Shan, Leung Chik Cuo, Yu Chik Hing and Heung Man. In the early days, the KWH had the facilities to accommodate 72 in-patients only. As residents of Yau Ma Tei and Kowloon were generally of lower socio-economic status, the KWH received a lower amount of donations than the Tung Wah Hospital in Sheung Wan where businessmen lived and worked. As a result, the KWH faced increasing financial difficulty. In November 1914, the Secretary for Chinese Affairs invited the Directors of Tung Wah Hospital, Kwong Wah Hospital and Yau Ma Tei Tin Hau Temple to a meeting on the handover of management of Yau Ma Tei Tin Hau Temple to Kwong Wah Hospital, so that income of the temple could be used to subsidise hospital expenses. However, Directors of Yau Ma Tei Tin Hau Temple rejected the proposal to hand over temple management. It was not until April 1928, when the newly established Chinese Temples Committee intervened, that the management and HKD 58,000 savings of Tin Hau Temple were handed over to the KWH. In 1926, the Mong Kok Shui Yuet Temple had to be demolished for road development on its site. The government thus granted the current Shan Tong Street site and a subsidy of HKD 6,000 for its reconstruction. Management of Shui Yeut Temple was also allocated to the KWH so that its income could subsidise the hospital’s daily expenses.

In 1930, the relevant ordinance was revised and renamed as The Tung Wah Group of Hospitals Ordinance to include three hospitals under the Tung Wah Group: the Tung Wah Hospital established in 1870, the Kwong Wah Hospital established in 1911, and the Tung Wah Eastern Hospital established in 1929. In 1931, management of the three hospitals was consolidated under one Board of Directors that made and implemented decisions relevant to the hospitals’ operations. The first Chairman of the Board of Directors was Mr. Ngan Shing Kwan.

The KWH was located on an originally barren hill rarely accessed by people. Thanks to the Directors who made every effort in soliciting funds and the strong support of the government and various sectors of society, construction of the KWH was completed on 9 October 1911. At the entrance to the KWH is a couplet given as a token by the Hospital’s Founding Director:

“Catastrophes have fallen on our country and caused chronic, difficult-to-treat diseases in millions of our people.
People in the 20th century can look forward to good health with the integration of Chinese and Western medicine and the good hands of skilled doctors.”

Hospital Expansion

The hospital’s Board of Directors continued to expand services in order to cope with rapidly increasing healthcare demands in the society. In 1915, the KWH built a public clinic and a pier on the harbour front in Yau Ma Tei to provide convenient healthcare services to people living on boats. Unfortunately, the public clinic and pier were destroyed during the Second World War. In the same year, the hospital adopted Western medicine approaches in the treatment of women giving birth.

In November 1921, the KWH recruited the first group of six nursing students for training and practicum – the first time the Tung Wah Group of Hospitals had trained nurses. In the next year, a donation of HKD 50,580 was received for the construction of a Chinese medicine clinic, which opened for service in 1923. The hospital’s new Delivery Room was completed in 1929 to provide free delivery care for selected patients. A new general ward was also built in the same year.

In 1931, a new Tuberculosis Ward was built and the Operating Theatre was renovated. This was followed by reconstruction of the Mortuary in 1940 and the hospital kitchen in 1947. In 1952, the Outpatient Department was expanded, which brought a substantial increase in the number of outpatient cases from 110,000 in 1951 to 258,000 in 1957. In 1958, an additional Outpatient Department was built together with an expansion of in-patient service capacity to 631 beds. These expansions were, however, still inadequate to address the increasing demand. The original Nurse Quarters, built in 1952, was also inadequate for the accommodation of newly employed nurses and was therefore rebuilt in 1959.

Kwong Wah Hospital Reconstruction Project

Re-developed Kwong Wah Hospital in 1965

Hong Kong faced a rapidly increasing population after the Second World War. In 1957, the number of in-patient cases at the KWH increased dramatically to 180,000, 21,000 of which were obstetrics cases. It was common to see two to three patients sharing a hospital bed while the hospital corridors were often lined with cots. In 1953, Sir Alexander Grantham, then Governor of Hong Kong, saw the need to rebuild. The Tung Wah Group of Hospitals proposed a reconstruction project costing HKD 20 million for building works and HKD 5 million for the purchase of equipment. In the meantime, the Board of Directors made a decision in 1958 to build a new Ding Yau Ward with 120 beds to accommodate additional patients. The extensive reconstruction project commenced in 1958 and was completed on 23 March 1965. Sir David Trench, Governor of Hong Kong, officiated the opening ceremony of the rebuilt hospital.

Tung Wah MuseumTung Wah Museum: Other work included building of an Accident and Emergency Department in 1965, which was the second Accident and Emergency Department in 1968, a new Hospital Library was built together with Hong Kong’s first High Dependency Unit. In 1971, the former lobby of the KWH was renovated and converted to the Tung Wah Museum.

In 1981, the Yu Chun Keong Memorial Building was built in view of increasing demand for hospital pathology services. In 1991, a donation was received from the Hong Kong Jockey Club to install the first CT scanner in the hospital.

Handover of Management to Hospital Authority

Hospital Authority

In December 1991, the Tung Wah Group of Hospitals reached an agreement with the newly established Hospital Authority to hand over the KWH to the latter. All healthcare professionals serving the KWH continued their employment under the Hospital Authority with the same terms and conditions as staff of other public hospitals. This provided the KWH with an opportunity to revolutionize management and improve services. Under the new governance structure, a Hospital Chief Executive and a management team were employed to enable delegation of management responsibilities. Implementation of the new management system was followed by the launch of numerous improvement programmes. The KWH subsequently became a major hospital in the Kowloon West Cluster of the Hospital Authority when its cluster system was implemented. As a result, two satellite clinics became part of the KWH. These satellite clinics were the Ngau Tau Kok Geriatric Day Hospital, which joined the KWH in 1993, and the Pamela Youde Polyclinic, which joined in 1994.

Major Refurbishment and Outpatient Programme
Kwong Wah Hospital after Major Refurbishment

Kwong Wah Hospital after Major Refurbishment

In 1995, the government approved a funding of HKD 584 million for major refurbishment and repair of the Main Block of the KWH. The project was conducted in three phases. Various Wings of the Main Block were closed temporarily for refurbishment and repair work, which took 3 years to complete. Additional funding was obtained for the expansion of the Accident and Emergency Department and the establishment of the TWGHs Li Shiu Chung Memorial Magnetic Resonance Imaging Centre. All relevant work was completed in 1997, with then Chief Secretary for Administration Ms. Anson Chan officiating the opening ceremony.

The KWH has continued to develop and expand its services to address healthcare demands in the future. The seven-storey Tsui Tsin Tong Outpatient Building, built at a cost of HKD 160 million, was completed and open for service in January 2000. The Building houses General Outpatient Clinics and Specialist Outpatient Clinics, as well as the Pharmacy, Obstetrics Outpatient Clinic, Well Women Clinic, Day Surgery Centre and Allied Health Services Rehabilitation Centre (providing services such as physiotherapy, speech therapy, medical social work, podiatry and Tung Wah Group of Hospitals Outreaching Home Care Services for the Elderly), providing quality services for non-hospitalised patients.

Covered Walkway Project

In 2000, the Hong Kong Jockey Club donated HKD 16 million to support a facility improvement project of the KWH. The project included the construction of two Rehabilitation Parks located at the East Wing and North Wing, respectively, as well as a covered walkway connecting the main buildings of the hospitals. The project enabled improvements in hospital environment, providing hospitalised patients with a more comfortable space for treatment and recovery.

Locations of Covered Walkway in the Hospital

Graduation Ceremony of the Last Nursing Class

In the early 20th century, training courses in nursing were not available at universities in Hong Kong for those who aspired to join the nursing profession. Hospitals in Hong Kong therefore operated their own nursing schools to train Registered Nurses and Midwives. The Nursing School of the KWH was established in 1921 as the first institute in the Tung Wah Group of Hospitals that providing training in nursing. The School provided a three-year course to train General Registered Nurses and a one-year course to train Registered Midwives. Since its establishment, the School had continued to refine the curriculum by introducing specialty courses and workshops, and organised basic health education activities in collaboration with community centres. These initiatives enabled the School to address the nursing needs of local citizens and nourish the minds of its students. The School saw its last intake of nursing students in September 1999 and the last graduation ceremony in May 2002. Subsequent training of nurses and midwives was provided by universities in Hong Kong. Over the years, the Nursing School of the KWH has trained 5,394 Registered Nurses and 3,300 Midwives.

100th Anniversary

The KWH celebrated its 100th anniversary on 9 October 2011. Established in 1911, the KWH has grown with Hong Kong, witnessing every story of development in the last century. To celebrate its centenary, a kickoff ceremony was held on 29 June 2011 at the Ocean Terminal of Harbour City in Tsim Sha Tsui. The ceremony marked the beginning of a 100-day countdown to the KWH’s 100th anniversary and the beginning of a range of celebration activities. One of the activities was the “100 Years, Same Heart” musical that went on show in February 2012. The ceremony was officiated by Mr. Anthony Wu, GBS, JP, Chairman of Hospital Authority, and attended by guests including Dr. Leung Pak Yin, Chief Executive of Hospital Authority, Mr. Chang Juo Hwa, Chairman of Tung Wah Group of Hospitals and Chairman of Kwong Wah Hospital Hospital Governing Committee, Dr. Chan Un Chan, Chairman of Tung Wah Charity Walkathon for Centenary Celebration of the KWH and 2nd Vice-Chairman of Tung Wah Group of Hospitals, and Ms. Liza Wang, Honorary Ambassador of Kwong Wah Hospital Centenary Celebrations. The guests participated in a grand ceremony to activate the centenary countdown metre and witnessed the joy of Kwong Wah Hospital’s 100th anniversary.

Asia Hospital Management Awards 2011

The KWH is an acute general hospital with more than 3,000 employees. A comprehensive Respiratory Protection Programme is needed to protect frontline healthcare professionals from exposure to respiratory hazards. With the large number of respirators needed, an under-supply would be unacceptable. We have made a pledge to provide all colleagues with appropriate respirators whenever the need arises from their course of duties. The care for staff is reflected in our Respiratory Protection Programme after the hospital refurbishment works. From training on the use of respirators to their selection, face fitting and purchase, each aspect of the Programme is well planned and well implemented to ensure optimal respiratory protection for staff.

First Award of Caring Organisation Logo

The KWH and the Tung Wah Group of Hospitals Wong Tai Sin Hospital support staff in their participation in voluntary services and encourage donations to underprivileged communities. In 2008/09, the Hong Kong Council of Social Service awarded the Caring Organisation Logo to the KWH and the Tung Wah Group of Hospitals Wong Tai Sin Hospital as recognition and appreciation of their implementation of the value of caring.

Asia Hospital Management Awards 2010 Excellence Award

The linen supply improvement project of the KWH clinched the Excellence Award in the Customer Service category of the Asia Hospital Management Awards. The award presentation ceremony was held on 20 August 2010 in Seoul, South Korea. The award-winning project, titled “A Strategic Approach to Enhance Linen Supply Logistic to Wards by Using Patient Statistics at Kwong Wah Hospital”, competed with 281 projects from 58 hospitals in 10 Asian countries/regions in the Asia Hospital Management Awards 2010. The Award was given to recognise outstanding and creative programmes/projects implemented in Asia as well as hospitals with the best implementation in the region. In the project, patient admission statistics were obtained from an integrated patient management system. These statistics were then fed into a pre-designed formula to calculate the daily demand for linen in each ward. As a result, ad-hoc requests for additional linen and complaints were reduced by more than 90%. The procedures for manual stocktaking were streamlined, while the linen delivery schedules were simplified to cater to the daily operational needs of wards. The project resulted in a reduction of 336 working days per person annually, which was equivalent to an annual cost saving of approximately HKD 200,000. The manpower saved could be used to provide other value-added services, such as client communication, audits and reviews.

Restoration of Kwong Wah Hospital Admission and Discharge Registry 1917

The Restoration of Kwong Wah Hospital’s Earliest (1917) Hospital Admission and Discharge Registry Pilot Programme, a collaborative project between the Tung Wah Group of Hospitals and the Conservation Office of the Leisure and Cultural Services Department, was completed after almost six months of work. The restored registry went on display at the Tung Wah Museum after the kick-off ceremony of the Tung Wah Group of Hospitals Heritage Carnival on 14 January 2012. At the ceremony, Mrs. Fung Ching Suk Yee, JP, Director of Leisure and Cultural Services, handed the restored registry over to Mr. Chang Juo Hwa, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Tung Wah Group of Hospitals. The registry is a detailed record of the names, birthplaces, addresses, guarantors and medical history of patients admitted to the KWH between January and April 1917. Restoration of the registry to its original form represents an important first step towards preserving the history of Hong Kong’s medical system, geography and society, and is also a key first step in the provision of valuable information for relevant research.

Funding for Preparation of Kwong Wah Hospital Major Reconstruction Project Approved by LegCo Finance Committee

In February 2013, the Finance Committee of the Legislative Council (LegCo) approved a funding of HKD 552.7 million for the Hospital Authority to commence preparation for the KWH Redevelopment Project. The preparation included site investigation, building survey, relocation work, outline zoning plan for major construction works, detailed design, drafting of tender documents, and consultancy service for review of submitted tender documents.

Kwong Wah Hospital/Tung Wah Group of Hospitals Wong Tai Sin Hospital Awarded 5 Years Plus Caring Organisation Logo by the Hong Kong Council of Social Service

The KWH/Tung Wah Group of Hospitals Wong Tai Sin Hospital was awarded the 5 Years Plus Caring Organisation Logo by the Hong Kong Council of Social Service. The two hospitals have been awarded the Caring Organisation Logo since 2008/2009 in recognition of their consistent care for the community, staff and environment. The award presentation ceremony was held on 25 March 2015 at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre.