Hong Kong is fortunate to have two leading medical schools. The institutes have played a central role in public health care and clinical advancement and have trained generations of quality health care professionals over the years.
We owe much to their commitment and contribution to protecting the well-being of the community.
It is good to learn that the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) has proposed establishing a new medical school to meet the growing need for additional healthcare services.
Subject to preparation and approval, this will be the third college, along with the LKS Faculty of Medicine of the University of Hong Kong and the Faculty of Medicine of the Chinese University of Hong Kong.
While the two existing schools have a wealth of experience in training doctors as well as research, the new school will focus on health technology, biomedical sciences and translational medicine, a discipline that seeks to translate discoveries into new diagnostic tools, medicine and procedures, according to HKUST.
The university is also considering allowing non-medical graduates to apply to its programs, opening the door for those with a background in innovation and engineering to contribute to the industry.
This is not the first time that this proposal has been launched. But the fact that it was renewed by new HKUST President Nancy Ip Yuk-yu during a recent meeting with lawmakers underscores the university’s determination to turn the vision into reality.
It also comes at a time when the medical sector is suffering a brain drain fueled by political and social changes. It remains to be seen whether this will help alleviate the labor shortage in the long term.
But a series of obstacles must be overcome before this ambition can be realized. From gaining government and legislative support, to recruiting qualified teaching staff, to establishing clinical laboratories and collaborating with hospitals for training, the challenges are daunting.
The road ahead may not be easy. But HKUST is well positioned to meet the challenge. With the right strategy and positioning, it can complement other medical schools and provide synergy in the city’s quest to become a hub of innovation and technology.