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CollectionsHong Kong, Benevolent City: Tung Wah and the Growth of Chinese CommunitiesHistory of Tung Wah ServicesTung Wah Group of Hospitals in the Modern Era
Tung Wah Group of Hospitals in the Modern Era

1. Medical Services in Tune with the Times

Today Tung Wah Group of Hospitals (TWGHs) operates a total of 24 medical and healthcare service units. Tung Wah’s five hospitals joined the Hospital Authority in 1991 and have since then benefited from the opportunities created by reform. Over the same period, the board of directors has actively supported medical service development by approving the acquisition of advanced equipment to provide high quality medical services to the community. Also, in order to raise public health awareness, Tung Wah set up the Well Women and Well Men clinics in 1990 and 2004 respectively. In recent years, Tung Wah has introduced outreach home care services for the elderly, thereby extending its medical services from the hospital into the community.

Throughout the years, Tung Wah has maintained its tradition of offering free medical services to the needy. Although economic conditions have improved substantially, Tung Wah has continued to help residents of Hong Kong who cannot afford medical services by providing free beds, free Chinese and Western medicine general outpatient services and free Western medicine specialist outpatient services. Every year Tung Wah organises a number of fund-raising events in support of its provision of free medical services to the needy in society that are always met with an overwhelming response.

Law and systems for the registration and regulation of Chinese medicine were only implemented after Hong Kong’s return to Chinese sovereignty in 1997. Tung Wah began preparatory work for these changes in the early 1990s and, since 1997, has organised a number of medical conferences for practitioners of Chinese medicine from mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macau. Tung Wah has also sent Chinese and Western medical practitioners on overseas exchange missions, all in an effort to enhance the development of Chinese and Western medicine. Since 2001, the TWGHs has also established 5 Chinese medicine clinical centres with capabilities in treatment, research and training. These centres offer high quality specialist Chinese medical services to the community, promote the modernisation of Chinese medicine and provide training to local Chinese medical professionals. In 2009, Tung Wah established the Wilson T. S. Wang Centre of Integrated Health Management to raise public awareness of “Chinese preventive medicine”. The centre sets out to promote disease prevention as a means to reduce the burden of healthcare on our society over the long run.

2. Multifaceted Education Services

Tung Wah is committed to the all-round education of its students and therefore emphasises not only academic results but also the provision of ample learning experiences to foster comprehensive and individualised moral, intellectual, physical, social and aesthetic development. In recent years, Tung Wah has actively promoted learning through community service in mainland China. As a result of these missions, students have deepened their understanding of social conditions on a national basis and have increased their sense of responsibility towards their country and society.

In response to the Education (Amendment) Ordinance 2004, each of Tung Wah’s primary, secondary and special schools has established an incorporated management committee to involve more stakeholders in school administration and to increase accountability and transparency of school management. Tung Wah encourages and funds teacher participation in local and overseas training courses as well as academic exchanges. Also, teaching seminars are organised regularly to facilitate professional sharing among teachers from the group’s various schools. Tung Wah’s Education Division includes a Student Guidance and Counselling Section which supports Tung Wah’s schools by providing training courses, case consultations and student guidance.

Apart from offering arts, science and commercial subjects, some TWGHs schools offer applied learning courses catering to different student interests. In order to strengthen support for students with specific learning difficulties in reading and writing (SpLD), Tung Wah has recruited specialists from the United Kingdom and Singapore to train English teachers in teaching students with SpLD and helping these students overcome their learning challenges. Tung Wah has also initiated, in partnership with the University of Hong Kong and The Hong Kong Institute of Education (present-day the Education University of Hong Kong), educational research and teacher training to help students overcome SpLD. Every year, the board of directors allocates funds to provide extracurricular activities and learning support for needy students and students with SpLD.

One of the 50 schools currently operated by Tung Wah is The Chinese University of Hong Kong – Tung Wah Group of Hospitals Community College (CUTW) which was jointly founded in 2005 by the Chinese University of Hong Kong and the Tung Wah Group of Hospitals to tie in with the tertiary education policy of the Hong Kong Government. CUTW offers associate degree and pre-associate degree programmes to prepare secondary school graduates for further education or the workplace. Meanwhile, to contribute to Hong Kong’s development into a knowledge-based economy, Tung Wah established a separate entity solely run by the groups named Tung Wah College in 2010 and has been approved by the government for permission to offer a four-year, self-financed degree programme. The college has also been qualified for the accreditation and validation by the Hong Kong Council for Accreditation of Academic and Vocational Qualifications.

3. People-oriented Community Services

Tung Wah currently operates over 200 community service units, rendering assistance to vulnerable social groups and those in financial difficulties including the unemployed, the poorly-educated and low-skilled youths and women. Tung Wah actively cooperates with social workers, psychologists and allied health professionals and works with these professionals and their organisations to offer specialised counselling services to the community. In addition, Tung Wah strives to facilitate cross-sector cooperation among citizens, business enterprises and government organisations. For example, Tung Wah mobilises corporate volunteers to serve the community with compassion and professional knowledge, and the group is also involved in the development of social enterprises, bringing together people from many different walks of life to help the most vulnerable in society.

Tung Wah’s integrated service centres offer a wide range of services to children, adolescents and families. The aim of these centres is to foster personal and family development and create loving and caring communities. In order to offer timely and appropriate support to particular groups of people, Tung Wah has introduced debt counselling, problem gambling counselling, drug abuse prevention and addiction counselling, smoking cessation, internet addiction and school social services. In recent years, Tung Wah established the CEASE Crisis Centre to support victims of sexual violence as well as individuals or families encountering domestic violence or family crises.

In response to the growth of Hong Kong’s elderly population and rapid changes in the city’s socio-economic structure, Tung Wah’s elderly services have focussed on offering a wide range of community support to senior citizens as well as high quality nursing home services for the frail elderly. In recent years, Tung Wah has introduced a number of innovative services for senior citizens, including the Endless Care project that incorporates education, counselling, support, a Plan-Ahead Funeral Service and funeral arrangements. The group has also created the Elder Academy, the University of the Third Age and the Online Learning Platform for Senior Citizens, all of which seek to encourage continuous education and lifelong learning among the elderly, in addition to services for impoverished or “hidden” elders and senior citizens with special needs as well as their caregivers.

Tung Wah also offers day training, vocational rehabilitation, boarding and community support services for people with disabilities including the mentally challenged, the severely physically challenged, the visually impaired elderly and the ex-mentally ill persons. Since the early 1990s, Tung Wah’s rehabilitation services have expanded steadily and today it is one of Hong Kong’s major providers of a wide range of rehabilitation services targeted at increasing the independence of challenged individuals.

4. Future Vision

The Tung Wah Group of Hospitals represents a combination of history and modernity, and the group’s organisational culture values both tradition and innovation. It embodies the spirit of charity and provides a stabilising force in society that transcends clan, hometown, ethnic and religious boundaries. In the language of today, Tung Wah is an exemplar of the type of social capital that can support and propel social advancement. Over the past years, TWGHs has faced a wide variety of challenges, but has always stayed true to its belief that “shan yu ren tong (charity brings happiness to the giver)” and has consistently evolved to meet the changing needs of government policies and the community. In addition to receiving government subsidies, service fees and income from self-financed services, each year Tung Wah organises fund-raising activities to gather donations from charitable sponsors so that it can continue to provide essential assistance to the needy. Since Tung Wah generates enough income from the lease of tenement properties to cover administration costs, every cent of every donation is used for improving and expanding the group’s medical, healthcare, education and social welfare services. Looking ahead, Tung Wah will strive to serve the people of Hong Kong and to spread the charitable spirit of the group to mainland China and overseas.

  • Nurse of Tung Wah Hospital performs acupuncture

  • Chief Secretary Sir Charles Philip Haddon-Cave visits intensive car...

  • Tung Wah Eastern Hospital and TWGHs Lo Ka Chow Memorial Ophthalmic ...

  • Comprehensive eye examinations and vision care services

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