For discussion PWSC(97-98)60
on 4 November 1997


Medical Subventions
8034MM - Hong Kong Eye Hospital - expansion of surgical care facilities

Members are invited to recommend to Finance Committee to approve a commitment of $67.5 million in money-of-the-day prices for the expansion of surgical care facilities for the Hong Kong Eye Hospital.


There are insufficient surgical care facilities and no in-patient service in the Hong Kong Eye Hospital (the Hospital) to meet the present day medical eye care requirements.


2. The Hospital Authority (HA), supported by the Secretary for Health and Welfare, proposes to create a commitment of $67.5 million in money-of-the-day (MOD) prices to expand the surgical care facilities and provide in-patient service at the Hospital.

Project Scope and Nature

3. The scope of the project comprises construction of the following facilities -

  1. two additional operating theatres with sterile area and supporting facilities;
  2. two in-patient wards with a total of 40 beds and associated facilities; and
  3. kitchen and canteen facilities to provide meal services to in-patients and staff.

4. To make space for the construction of these new facilities, there will be a re-arrangement of the location of various existing units in the hospital.


5. The Hospital commenced its operation in 1992 as a tertiary referral centre for medical eye care services serving the entire territory. It provides a full range of ophthalmic services with general ophthalmology and various sub-specialty services such as retina, cornea, contact lens and low vision service.

6. The present major facilities in the Hospital include a day surgery unit with four operating theatres, a day ward with 14 beds and a specialist out-patient clinic. The Hospital operates currently on a day care basis, with cataract surgery being the main surgical activity. As there is no in-patient facilities in the Hospital, patients with serious or complicated eye diseases or after surgical operations have to be admitted to neighbouring hospitals for follow up care.

7. In 1996-97, the Hospital's waiting list for non-emergency eye surgeries stood at 2 250 and the average waiting time is about 11 months. According to the Director of Census and Statistics, the population of elderly people aged 65 or above will increase by 66.6% from the present level of 655 400 to about 1 091 700 in 2016. The number of old age related eye illnesses such as glaucoma and cataract is expected to increase correspondingly. Furthermore, as a result of advancement in medical technology, it is now possible for some difficult and complicated eye conditions such as complicated paediatric cases and fulminating corneal ulcers to be treated by surgeries. These types of surgeries require top quality surgical expertise and equipment, longer surgical time and in most instances, continous after surgery in-patient care.

8. The provision of two additional operating theatres will increase the capacity of the Hospital for eye surgeries by around 1 500 per annum from the existing level of 4 420 to 5 920. The provision of in-patient wards in the Hospital will enhance the service to patients requiring close monitoring and treatment.


9. The Director of Architectural Services (D Arch S) estimates the total project cost to be $67.5 million in MOD prices, made up as follows -

$ million
(a) Building11.7
(b) Building services 19.2
(c) Furniture and equipment 17.3
(d) Contingencies 3.8
(at December
1996 prices)
(e) Inflation allowance 15.5
(in MOD prices)

10. Subject to approval, we will phase the expenditure as follows -

Year$ million
(Dec 1996)
$ million
1998 - 199915.01.16358 17.5
1999 - 200020.01.26830 25.4
2000 - 200110.01.38244 13.8
2001 - 20025.01.50686 7.5
2002 - 20032.01.64248 3.3


11. We have derived the MOD estimate on the basis of the Government's forecast of trend labour and construction prices over the period 1998 to 2003. We will tender the project under a fixed price lump-sum contract as the scope of works can be clearly defined in advance, leaving little room for uncertainty.

12. HA estimates the additional annually recurrent expenditure of the project to be $26.28 million at December 1996 prices made up as follows -

$ million
Personal emoluments 17.83
Other charges8.45


13. In April 1996, D Arch S completed a Preliminary Environmental Review (PER) for the project. The Director of Environmental Protection vetted the findings of the PER and agreed that an Environmental Impact Assessment would not be necessary because of the nature and scope of the work. The Hospital is currently provided with central air-conditioning and D Arch S will provide double-glazed windows to the southern facades facing Argyle Street to further ameliorate traffic noise. The HA will arrange for the management, storage, transport and disposal of clinical wastes as recommended in the PER.


14. We consider that public consultation is not necessary as this is an expansion project to be carried out within the boundaries of the Hospital.


15. This project does not require land acquisition.


16. We plan to start work in March 1998 for completion in April 1999. During the construction period, the Hospital will arrange for a floor by floor decantation to facilitate the work progress and to minimise disruption of service.

Health and Welfare Bureau
October 1997

Last Updated on 1 November 1997