Speech by Dr. Jim LEE
Chairman of the 72nd Board of Directors (2021–2022)
The term of 72nd Board of Directors of Pok Oi Hospital (“Pok Oi”) starts on 1st April, 2021. 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.
Since its inception in 1919, Pok Oi has been serving members of the public under the motto of “We Love, We Care, We Serve”. We have a wide range of offerings, which includes Chinese and Western medicine services, dental services, elderly services, youth and family services, education services, and more. With the support and concerted efforts of all the predecessors, permanent advisers and former directors, the charitable work of Pok Oi has seen continued development. There are now more than 100 service units that form a network covering Hong Kong Island, Kowloon and the New Territories, with an annual beneficiary attendance of more than 1,500,000.
10 Years of Collaboration and Advancing Together
For more than 100 years, Pok Oi has been growing with the people of Hong Kong and serving the public. This year, I feel honoured to have been elected by the Board members as Chairman of the new Board of Directors. The privilege has significant meaning to me as I have spent 10 years with Pok Oi, during which the organisation carried out many charitable initiatives. The 10-year collaboration with other Board members let me witness the fruitful development of Pok Oi, as well as the continued increase in the number of service attendances. Given the challenges facing Hong Kong and the international community nowadays, the road lies ahead for Pok Oi to further its charitable purposes may be beset with difficulties. Nevertheless, we should do our best. I will work with all the Board members to meet new challenges, develop new plans and bring more hope to society, with the courage to undertake responsibilities and the willingness to seek improvements.
Transitional Housing Project in Kong Ha Wai, Yuen Long — Promoting Social Harmony
As regards the policy and strategies of the HKSAR Government, Pok Oi extends full cooperation and seeks improvements continuously. We have the courage to expand into new realms. The transitional housing project in Kong Ha Wai, Yuen Long, is a new endeavour for us. The aim is to provide temporary residences for grass-roots families that have been awaiting public housing for years, thereby relieving their living pressure caused by high rent or a substandard living environment. The project is supervised and funded by Transport and Housing Bureau. It is developed on a parcel contributed by Henderson Land Development, with voluntary support received from many professionals, including those from Pat Heung Rural Committee and Yuen Long District Council. Pok Oi will operate the project on a nonprofit-making basis. All the parties unite for one purpose. Occupation of the first batch of units is expected in the first quarter of next year.
Completion for the entire project is expected by the end of 2022, with 1,998 units provided to accommodate about 6,000 citizens.
Pok Oi made a deliberate effort to set up a transitional housing project committee. The Board members, management executives of various service units, architectural consultants, etc. all play
a part and assist in coordinating and overseeing the project. Many of our existing Board members
are professionals in the construction and engineering sectors, who give a significant boost to the project with their valued input and advice. We will also communicate more actively with different government departments and stakeholders including local groups and residents. A pool of ideas generated from different minds will help us achieve the best outcome. Rooted in Yuen Long, Pok Oi has received wide support from rural leaders, local groups and citizens over the years. Under the principle that community comes first, the Kong Ha Wai project will come with a number of ancillary services such as healthcare services, day care services for the elderly, youth services, children and family services, a supermarket and a community canteen, as well as farmland for self-cultivation. All these will bring vitality to the area, while creating a close-knit harmonious community.
Office Expansion for Board of Directors— Planning for the Future
With the continuous expansion of various services of Pok Oi, the office of the Board of Directors has also expanded. There are more departments and staff members to support the growing operation.
Pok Oi has already outgrown the existing office space. Therefore, the Board of Directors has rented an office unit in The Rainbow, Yuen Long, to continue providing support to the disadvantaged. The new office commenced operation in the first quarter of this year. Pok Oi is also discussing with Hospital Authority and the hospital about the feasibility of building a temporary office on a parcel within the area of the hospital. We have to lay the foundation for the sustained development of our charitable work, foster the continuous development of Pok Oi, and bring forth a greater variety of new services to benefit more citizens.
Dreams Come True for the Elderly —With Love, Remarkable Dreams are Realised
The COVID-19 outbreak has already lasted for more than a year. Not only does it threaten human health, but it also affects our spiritual health. The infirm elders, in particular, are vulnerable to such impact that may turn into unexpected crises. During the pandemic, we paid numerous visits to the elderly beneficiaries to deliver disease prevention supplies and food. We have experienced firsthand the anxiety, helplessness and depression the underprivileged elders feel. The emotional problems are worrisome.
Caring and communication can really help to relieve stress. With a caring heart for the elderly, Pok Oi decided to further a project that helps older adults realise their dreams. “Dreams Come True for the Elderly” will provide some spiritual support for the elderly, bringing them positive energy and hope. The programme will start recruiting participants in April this year, with a focus on the elderly service units of Pok Oi.
Healing Sickness and Relieving Distress with Enhanced Medical Services and Support
• Funding Support for Optimising Western Medicine Services
Pok Oi is devoted to developing Chinese and Western medicine services, as well as dental services, so that the deprived sick also have quick and easy access to the medical attention and health support they need. Since the start of the pandemic, our healthcare personnel in various fields have remained steadfast in their posts to provide quality medical services and help patients go through adversities. All of us are deeply grateful. In the future, the Board of Directors will also continue to provide funding to the Western medicine services of Pok Oi. With such funding support, the hospital can purchase more advanced medical equipment and offer exchange opportunities with top medical experts invited to help our healthcare personnel upgrade their professional level.
We continue to give full play to the spirit of devoting love and care to patients, while providing them with proper treatment.
• Tender Submitted for Operation of the First Chinese Medicine Hospital in Hong Kong
The Chinese medicine services of Pok Oi have seen rapid development in recent years, with significant progress made in treatment, education and research. Pok Oi has already become a key member of the Chinese medicine sector of Hong Kong. During the pandemic, we actively responded to the “Special Chinese Medicine (CM) Out-patient Programme for Discharged COVID-19 Patients” launched by the Hospital Authority. As part of the programme, we provide the patients with follow-up treatment and rehabilitation support. We are also devoted to promoting the use of Chinese medicine to prevent infections. We address the pandemic from the perspective of “Preventative Treatment” with Chinese medicine, and advocate collaboration between traditional Chinese medicine and Western medicine as a way to relieve the pressure on Hong Kong’s public healthcare system.
In response to the government’s policy of establishing the first Chinese Medicine Hospital, Pok Oi is actively seeking to be the operator and has already passed the prequalification of tenderers. The final result is expected in the middle of this year. With years of experience in operating Chinese medicine services, we hope to be awarded the service deed to make further contributions to the development of Chinese medicine in Hong Kong. With a view to enhancing the quality of our Chinese medicine services, we started to take field trips several years ago for observation of the development of Chinese medicine services in the mainland and abroad. Through exchanges with medical organisations and practitioners in three places across the Strait, and discussion about the policy and technological development for Chinese medicine, we have gained more experience
in both management and treatment.
• Tendering Exercises for the Operation of DHCs and DHC Express
In September 2019, the HKSAR Government established the first District Health Centre (DHC) in Kwai Tsing. Given the strong demand for primary medical and health services, the government set up more DHCs and interim “DHC Express” services in more districts to enhance chronic disease management and the health of citizens. Pok Oi will participate in the tendering exercises for the operation of the DHC in Tuen Mun and the “DHC Express” in Sha Tin and Kowloon City to provide key primary healthcare services, including health promotion, health assessment and chronic disease management. We are dedicated to aiding the poor and healing the sick.
• Further Enhancement of Dental Services
In recent years, Pok Oi has also made active efforts to develop dental services. We have been rendering oral and dental care services that are professional, comprehensive and of a high standard. Concessions are offered to eligible persons. The needs of the elderly for dental services are always of concern to Pok Oi. Therefore, Pok Oi is involved in the “Outreach Dental Care Programme for the Elderly” of the Department of Health. Our dental outreach teams go to designated facilities in Yuen Long, Tuen Mun, etc. to provide on-site services, such as free consultation and oral check-ups, as well as follow-up treatment. We provide further support by having a vehicle equipped with a lifting platform, which carries the elderly to travel between their residential care homes and dental clinics.
We are also committed to educating the public about the importance of oral care. For example, we organise free seminars on oral care and training workshops. We visit residential care homes, day care centres for the elderly, hostels for mentally handicapped persons and sheltered workshops to deliver healthcare education, seminars, oral checkups, and more. Our aim is to arouse public awareness of oral health, targeting the root cause of dental problems.
Serving the Elderly and Others with a Caring Heart for the Community
• POH Tuen Mun Lam Tei Nursing and Residential Care Home for the Elderly
Caring for the elderly is one of the service priorities of Pok Oi. We are grateful to Henderson Land Development for donating a site on Fuk Hang Tsuen Road in Lam Tei, Tuen Mun for building “POH Tuen Mun Lam Tei Nursing and Residential Care Home for the Elderly”, the largest elderly home in Hong Kong. The facility is expected to provide 1,434 beds upon completion, including 930 continuum of care places and 504 nursing home places for aged persons with different levels of weakness. The facility will help shorten the waiting time for admission to elderly homes.
The project is funded by the Lotteries Fund of Social Welfare Department through the “Special Scheme on Privately Owned Sites for Welfare Uses”. Completion is expected in 2024 or 2025 at the earliest. In order to create a comfortable living environment, the project focuses on smart environmental protection as well as medical and social integration. It incorporates elements such as green architecture and gerontechnology. There will also be in-house medical care with a multi-disciplinary medical team comprised of doctors, nurses, social workers, physiotherapists, and occupational therapists.
In addition to quality and professional residential care services, there will be many value-added amenities, such as a corridor for sensory integration, a smoke-free cooking corner, a walking trail and a green rooftop, along with many cultural and leisure activities, to let residents enjoy their later years.
• Proposal for Modular Social Housing Project in Yen Chow Street
Pok Oi has submitted a proposal for the “Modular Social Housing Project” launched by The Hong Kong Council of Social Service. We hope to be awarded the contract to undertake the operation of the Yen Chow Street project. As an operator, we will help those citizens who have been long waiting for public rental housing or suffering a substandard living environment by providing community support, improving their quality of life, and encouraging them to help each other and contribute to the community.
• Support Programme for Dementia Caregivers
The need of people with dementia and their carers have been a concern of Pok Oi. We provide appropriate services and support to slow down cognitive decline and relieve the pressure on carers. A three-year support programme targeted at dementia caregivers is already launched with a grant received from BOCHK Centenary Charity Programme. It is expected to have 7,270 beneficiaries.
The project is a combination of social media platform and a physical support centre for caregivers. In addition to courses in caregiving skills and information on elderly care, there are leisure activities organized regularly by the centre for stress relief. A mobile application, a website and a hotline
enable caregivers to seek help anytime with no boundaries.
• Pok Oi Hospital Emergency Relief Fund
The Emergency Relief Fund of Pok Oi was established in 1997 to provide immediate financial support for individuals and their families, who have encountered misfortunes and required assistance. Since 2010, the organisation has received more than 160 applications and provided emergency grants of more than HK$2.7 million in total to help those in need overcome adversity. In the future, Pok Oi will continue to maintain close contact with various local groups, regardless of district boundaries and ethnicity. Together, we will understand the needs of the disadvantaged and provide them with timely and appropriate assistance.
• Community Service Project in Tsing Yi Island
Pok Oi Hospital Wai Yin Association Family Multiple Intelligences Centre received a grant from the “Community Investment and Inclusion Fund” of Labour and Welfare Bureau for a three-year (2021-2023) community service project in Tsing Yi Island. The project offers activities themed on physical, mental and spirit health to families in the area. The aim is to facilitate the positive development of children and families through joyful activities, strengthen family ties as well as their connection with the community, and build a tight-knit community.
Enhancing Teaching and Learning Continuously with a Focus on Morality and Talent
Education is a mission of nurturing the future pillars of society. Pok Oi is operating 3 secondary schools, 1 primary school and 5 kindergartens/nurseries under the motto of “Erudition and Virtue”. We are committed to providing quality education, developing higher-order thinking and comprehension, as well as encouraging self-directed learning and whole-person development.
In addition to improving the learning competence of students and their ability to master subject knowledge, our schools place much emphasis on the interests, abilities and learning experiences of students. Therefore, the Board of Pok Oi provides funding to the schools every year for organising various activities, which include local or overseas exchange tours and extracurricular activities.
Students are encouraged to learn from firsthand experience. Pok Oi also encourages the application of technology to improve learning and teaching, enhance the overall effectiveness of teaching, and foster diverse intellectual development. The pandemic has led to the rise of online teaching as a new normal of learning. Our schools keep up with the needs of teaching and technology applications. We make use of media such as Google Classroom and Flipped Classroom, and offer various kinds of homework including reading, worksheets and investigatory topics. In respond to a progressing pandemic, our school policy was switched to having a centrally compiled timetable for real-time online teaching. This enables students to follow the timetable more regularly for online interactive learning through Zoom. In order to optimise online teaching, some schools even organised training activities for teachers to help them familiarise with online teaching methods and improve their online teaching skills. This led to increased interaction between teachers and students. Taking love and care as the starting point, we keep track of the physical and mental development of students through increased communication. We encourage students to continue learning and equip themselves continuously.
Coming Together with One Mind to Do Good Deeds
Although the pandemic has caused certain impact on the work of the Pok Oi, it has strengthened the cohesion among all sectors of the community. It is their selfless love that led to active donations of disease prevention supplies and various kinds of support. The donations embody the spirit of standing together in hard times. All members of Pok Oi also play an active role. In addition to providing timely support for the disadvantaged, we have revised our fundraising strategy to cope with the current situation. The flagship events “Pok Oi Cycle for Millions” and “Pok Oi x Old Master Q — Hong Kong Charity Run” are no longer subject to any physical restraints after moving to an online platform that facilitates integration of sports and charity into everyday life. In the year to come, Pok Oi will continue to offer a variety of regular fundraising activities. We will also add more variety & innovation to the fundraising activities so as to attract more benefactors to support a charitable cause. I would like to take this opportunity to invite all the guests here to provide more guidance and visionary ideas, and strengthen communication with each other. This will facilitate Pok Oi to further expand its social services, launch more new charitable projects, and benefit the general public in every aspect.
With a history of more than 100 years, Pok Oi puts the well-being of people first. We have never had a pause in developing our services to achieve excellence and helping the underprivileged.
Thanks to the unremitting efforts of our predecessors, Pok Oi has laid a solid foundation that supports the development of its services. We are also thankful to the government, prominent community members, and benefactors in all sectors for their enthusiastic support and active donations that contribute to the prosperous development of Pok Oi. Our success speaks for itself and collaboration is the key. In the face of difficult challenges, various sectors of the community spare no effort to help us implement numerous assistance programs and new services under the pandemic. All personnel of Pok Oi are deeply grateful for the support from all the benefactors. I pledge to do my best this year in leading all personnel of Pok Oi to move forward with one mind to launch more beneficial offerings. I take this opportunity to express my sincere wish that the Hong Kong government, all the former Board members, benefactors and the general public will continue their support and make generous donations. Your collective support will bring hope to the needy and contribute to a new chapter for the charity cause of Pok Oi.
I wish you good luck and good health!
Dr. Jim LEE
Chairman of the 72nd Board of Directors