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Speech by Mrs. KAN CHAN Kit Har, Josephine
Chairman of the 71st Board of Directors (2020–2021)

The term of 71st Board of Directors of Pok Oi Hospital (“Pok Oi”) starts on 1st April, 2020. We are honoured to receive floral basket and donations from friends and distinguished members of various sectors to show their friendship and support. On behalf of the Board of Directors, I wish to extend my sincere thanks to all of you for your friendship and kindness.

Starting to Open a New Chapter Together in the 101st Year

With community well-being in mind, Pok Oi has been serving the people of Hong Kong under the motto “We Love, We Care, We Serve” since its establishment in 1919. Over the past 100 years, Pok Oi has seen rapid development and made many new achievements. Our wide range of services include Chinese and Western medicine services, dental services, elderly services, youth services, children and family services, as well as education services. We have reached out to every sector of the society, and the community at large benefits from our charitable work.

I joined the Board of Directors of Pok Oi 16 years ago, hoping to play a part in continuing the mission of giving care and support to people in need. Pok Oi has a track record of charitable services spanning 100 years . I have witnessed the growth of Pok Oi day by day and, this year, I have been elected by the Board members as Chairman. I feel deeply burdened that fulfilling the mission ahead is not an easy job, and I must make every effort to work with all the Board members as a cohesive group in reaching a higher target of the long-standing charitable work of Pok Oi and making the 101st year fruitful. Now let me introduce to you Pok Oi’s major work and development plan in the year to come.

Helping Those in Need with Enhanced Medical Care

•  Funding Support for Western Medicine Services

The Western medicine services of Pok Oi adhere to the spirit of devoting love and care to the citizens. We offer appropriate medical services to the residents of Yuen Long, Tin Shui Wai and adjacent areas. Given the ever-increasing demand for medical services in the New Territories West, Pok Oi introduces more and more medical equipments on an ongoing basis. We seek to enhance our medical services and benefit more patients through such measures as installing more beds, implementing an accident and emergency electronic system and an inpatient drug distribution model. The Board will continue to allocate funds, including the Pok Oi Hospital Chronic Illness Fund , for the Hospital to purchase medical equipments to support the chronic patients, and invite top medical experts to have exchanges with our healthcare professionals. These exchanges will help to raise their level of professionalism.

•  Submitting Application for Operation of the First Chinese Medicine Hospital in Hong Kong

Traditional Chinese medicine is going global, and has been incorporated by the government of HKSAR into the city’s healthcare system. The first Chinese Medicine Hospital (CMH) is expected to be completed and opened in 2024. In response to the government’s policy and determination to establish Chinese Medicine Hospital and put it into operation, the Board of Directors of Pok Oi Hospital has participated in the 1st phase tender to apply for the operation of the 1st Chinese Medicine Hospital. It is expected that we will be in a position to strengthen the foundation of the CMH services in the days to come if we succeed in the tender.

Taking Care of Both Old and Young Generations

As the ageing population in Hong Kong is a matter of great concern, the demand for elderly and child care services is growing with each passing day. Pok Oi will endeavour to develop these services, including the enhancement of places in elderly homes and the provision of an integrated community service for the elderly, etc.

Elderly Care Services

•  Construction of “POH Tuen Mun Lam Tei Nursing and Residential Care Home for the Elderly”

Pok Oi is honoured and thankful to Henderson Land Development for the donation of a site on Fuk Hang Tsuen Road in Lam Tei, Tuen Mun for building the largest elderly home in Hong Kong called the “POH Tuen Mun Lam Tei Nursing and Residential Care Home for the Elderly”. The elderly home is expected to provide 1,434 beds upon completion, including 930 continuum of care places and 504 nursing home places for the elderly with different levels of weakness. These facilities will help shorten the waiting time for admission to the elderly homes. The cost of construction will be funded by the Social Welfare Department Lotteries Fund through the Special Scheme on Privately Owned Sites for Welfare Uses. The project has entered the stage of design, preliminary inspection and evaluation are nearly completed.

“POH Tuen Mun Lam Tei Nursing and Residential Care Home for the Elderly” has received support from the government and prominent members of various sectors. It represents a tripartite partnership of the civilians, business sector and the government under a shared vision and determination. Good progress is being made and groundbreaking work is in full swing. The project is expected to complete no sooner than 2023.

•  Opening of “POH Centenary Chan See Memorial Nursing Home cum Day Care Centre”

Last year, Pok Oi has successfully obtained a contract for the operation of a residential care home for the elderly which locates at 10 Kwong Yip Street, Yuen Long. This residential care home obtained a donation of 9 million Hong Kong dollars from a Permanent Adviser of Pok Oi Hospital Board of Directors, Mr. CHAN Kwok Wai, JP for the commemoration of his father, and was named as Pok Oi Hospital Centenary Chan See Memorial Nursing Home cum Day Care Centre. This Nursing Home has started its operation in March this year, providing 125 residential care places and 20 day care places. It is an integrated centre that combines the services of an elderly home and a day care centre, with gerontechnology and other supporting facilities being introduced, so as to progress with time and to optimize the services provided. This will form a diverse and healthy community to let the elderly enjoy their later years in a comfortable environment. In addition, the nursing home will set up a cognitive impairment evaluation centre to facilitate the elderly of the New Territories West to receive professional evaluation, check-up, and follow up services. The service team of Pok Oi will also provide professional suggestions and assistance to both the elderly and their family members. The centre is expected to start its operation in June this year.

Fundings from The Hong Kong Jockey Club and Others to Support POH Service Projects

•  The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust — Jockey Club Community eHealth Care Project

Pok Oi Hospital has obtained an appropriation of HK$4,960,000 from the Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust in carrying out the 2nd phase of the Jockey Club Community eHealth Care Project. The Project will be carried out during day time at the 6 elderly centres managed by Pok Oi Hospital. It is expected that more than 17,000 elderly persons will be benefited directly. The project started its operation on 1st February 2020 and ends until 31st July 2022, for a period of 30 months.

•  The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust — Jockey Club South Lantau Neighbourhood Support Programme

The Pok Oi Hospital Chan See Sau Memorial Social Service Centre has obtained an appropriation of HK$3,060,000 from the Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust for the funding of the “Jockey Club South Lantau Neighbourhood Support Programme”. The objective of the programme is to let the physically weak elderly, who live alone in South Lantau , have a healthy and happy life in the district in their later years through outreach visits by the recruited volunteers to their residence regularly, and provide them with the necessay services. This programme commenced in January 2020 and will end in December 2022, covering a period of 3 years.

•  Innovation and Technology Fund for Better Living — Virtual Reality Motor-cognitive Training for Older People

The Pok Oi Hospital Kwok Hing Kuan Neighbourhood Elderly Centre and the Hong Kong Polytechnic University jointly designed a “Virtual Reality Motor-cognitive Training for Older People with Cognitive Frailty” programme. The programme obtained a funding of more than HK$2,600,000 from the “Innovation and Technology Fund for Better Living” of the Innovation and Technology Bureau to carry out its research work for 3 years. It is expected that the programme will let a total of 648 elderly persons proceed with exercise and cognitive training through virtual reality VR in the 6 daytime centres for the elderly during the period from October 2020 to September 2022.

•  Community Investment and Inclusion Fund (CIIF) — Happy Ageing @ Hoi Ying Programme

The Pok Oi Hospital Kwok Hing Kuan Neighbourhood Elderly Centre has got a funding of HK$2,750,000 from the Community Investment and Inclusion Fund (CIIF) of the Labour and Welfare Bureau to carry out the “Happy Ageing @ Hoi Ying Programme”. The programme was launched at a newly occupied public housing Hoi Ying Estate located at Sham Shui Po for a period of 3 years. The objective is to help residents set up a mutual assistance network and a crossover cooperation platform. It also trains up the residents to become volunteers, taking the initiative to show loving care for the needy elderly and their family , and to establish a neighbourhood mutual assistance network within the estate. The programme has started its operation on 1st September 2019 for a period of 3 years. It is expected that the whole programme will benefit 450 families.

•  Jockey Club COVID-19 Emergency Fund

Pok Oi Hospital has obtained an appropriation of HK$490,000 from the Jockey Club COVID-19 Emergency Fund to support the elderly and their carers living in the community in getting the epidemic prevention necessities. The Emergency Fund provides emergency material packs to 3,500 elderly and their carers, including epidemic prevention items, household cleansing materials and food, etc. The related emergency materials will be distributed to the needy elderly and their carers in each district through the assistance of Pok Oi’s nine daytime elderly service units and the integrated household care team in April this year.

Submission of Tenders

•  Tuen Mun Tsing Min Path Residential Care Home for the Elderly

Pok Oi has also participated in a tender for a contract to operate a residential care home for the elderly at Tsing Min Path, Tuen Mun, thereby expanding our services network to benefit more elderly in need.

•  “Special Child Care Centre cum Early Education and Training Centre” Under Application

As preschoolers with special needs have a strong demand for services, the government put forward the increase in the number of service places for Pre-school Rehabilitation Services in its Policy Address. The purpose is to give support to the needs of disabled children, and help them integrate into mainstream education in the future. In response to the government’s initiative, Pok Oi is applying to the Social Welfare Department for the running of a special child care centre cum early education and training centre, which will provide early training and treatment to children aged 0–6 years with disabilities. The centre will also provide support for their family members and guardians.

•  Transitional Housing Scheme of Transport and Housing Bureau

Hong Kong is facing a very strong demand for housing. Given the long waiting time for public housing units, the grassroots have to either pay high rents for private flats or live in an undesirable environment, their life is really stressful. In view of the above mentioned, the Transport and Housing Bureau has launched a transitional housing scheme as a quicker solution to the problem. This housing scheme, involving the conversion of existing buildings and construction of pre-fabricated houses, provide a temporary home and improve the quality of life for people on the long waiting list for public housing. Pok Oi supports this scheme unreservedly and will submit a letter of intent for the transitional housing projects. A special committee and a working group will be set up to prepare our application. The preparation work will be carried out at full strength with a view to helping the underprivileged people.

Promoting Education and Nurturing Talents

Pok Oi has established 3 secondary schools, 1 primary school and 5 kindergartens/nurseries to provide quality education to students and nurture talents.

In addition to improving the learning accomplishment of students and their ability to master subject knowledge, our schools place much emphasis on the different learning experiences of students and all-round learning. As in the past, the Board of Directors of Pok Oi Hospital will continue to provide funding to the schools this year for organising various activities, which include local or overseas exchange tours and extracurricular activities. Students are encouraged to learn and to grow up from their personal experience. Pok Oi also encourages the application of technology to improve learning and teaching, thereby enhancing the students’ learning effectiveness.

As regards early childhood education, the 5 kindergartens/nurseries of Pok Oi are committed to creating a harmonious and enjoyable environment for students. We help them develop good character and correct moral concept, these will make them become a new generation characterised by self-confidence, independence, self-learning, self-discipline and the courage to bear responsibility. In accordance with the Education Bureau’s policy for kindergarten education, the kindergartens/nurseries will follow the “Kindergarten Education Curriculum Guide” in achieving a balanced development for children under a “learning through play” approach. We will adhere to the basic principles of “child development” and “child learning”, while attending to the interest, needs and ability of students. We create a safe and enjoyable learning environment that fosters diverse intelligence development.

•  Pok Oi e-Library Encouraging Parentchild Enjoy Reading Together

Reading is the foundation of life-long learning. In order to encourage our students to cultivate a good reading habit ,we have obtained the generous donation of the Vtron Investment Limited in setting up a platform of Pok Oi e-Library for the students and parents of our schools, members of our Children and Youth Centres, and our staff members to get access to the e-library through the Ellabook app. They could enjoy reading the e-books there free of charge for 10 years. The library platform is very rich in content which includes interactive e-books such as moral education, daily life, and English learning. It can help promote a reading atmosphere and arouse the children and young people’s interest in reading so as to broaden their reading scope and knowledge, thereby improving their language skills. Meantime, parents are encouraged to actively participate in and strengthen their parent-child interaction.

Agglomerate All Sectors for Charity and Spread Pok Oi’s Spirit

Pok Oi is committed to developing a range of services to keep pace with the development of the society. We endeavour to make progress and achieve perfection, and let the public receive the right assistance. The support and generosity of benefactors from various sectors are much needed for us to maintain an extensive operation and service network for the continuous development of Pok Oi. For this reason, we continue seeking innovation for our fundraising activities, enhancing the image of our organization, and opening up more effective channels for donations, in order to agglomerate more benefactors to support our fundraising plans and activities.

In the year ahead, Pok Oi will organise various regular fundraising activities, which include Pok Oi Joint Martial Art Performance, Pok Oi Charity TV Show, Pok Oi Cycling for Millions, and Pok Oi Month, a territory-wide fundraising event, and the Pok Oi Charity Run, etc. Pok Oi will also organise several new and interesting events. We are planning for Hong Kong’s first online cycling event called “Pok Oi Free Riding For All” which is modeled on the “Online Run” that has become popular in recent years. Participants can manage their riding mileage on a webpage, and receive a memorable medal or souvenir for achieving a riding goal. The event promotes bike riding and the concept of healthy living. I hope to gather the support of benefactors and prominent community members from all sectors, convey the message of “We Love, We Care, We Serve” to everyone, and we together will build a harmonious and peaceful society.

Conclusion

Looking back to 16 years ago , Pok Oi had only 40-odd services units. At the present time, Pok Oi has risen to a well-established charity organisation with 100 services units covering Hong Kong Island, Kowloon and the New Territories, and an annual beneficiary attendance of over 1 million. In recent years, Pok Oi also expanded its dental services, Chinese medicine mobile clinics, POH Yuen Long Merchants Association Extreme Sports Park, etc., to form part of its numerous service units, and we are all happy to see the ever-increasing number of citizens benefited from Pok Oi’s development.

During the years after joining Pok Oi, I have met many disadvantaged patients from the general public who needed our assistance acutely. I have also met many good people and good deeds. Although Hongkong recently has been affected by social unrest and the epidemic, all staff of Pok Oi still stick to their posts and shoulder their responsibilities to serve the needy citizens. Every member of the Board of Directors of Pok Oi Hospital also try their best and make efforts to support the work and the activities of Pok Oi, making contributions to the society. I am deeply moved really. I realize there will be a great challenge in the year ahead but I will face it positively and am determined to overcome the difficulties in order to get the work well done.

Regarding those criticism and suggestions with good intent, I am prepared to accept it with pleasure and to make necessary improvements. I hereby pledge to preserve the foundation laid by all the predecessors of the Board, build upon the past achievements for a better future, keep pace with the time, and take the well-being of people as our primary goal. I will work side by side with the fellow members of the Board to progress towards the new era. In the 101st year of operation, we will make even greater efforts for the disadvantaged groups. I take this opportunity to express my sincere wish that the HKSAR Government, all past Board members, and the benefactors will continue their support to Pok Oi. I also wish that the benefactors and the general public could donate actively and generously for the accomplishment of more charitable work, through which social harmony would be achieved and the community being benefited.

Lastly, I thank all of you for taking time from a busy schedule to attend the ceremony. I wish everyone good health, every success, and all the best. Thank you!

Mrs. KAN CHAN Kit Har, Josephine

Chairman of the 71st Board of Directors