The past 100 years show that we are no stranger to challenges like the current COVID-19 pandemic. When the Great Depression began at the time of the construction of our current Central Block in 1930s, we were saved from the severe financial difficulties by Dr. LI Shu Fan’s own money and personal guarantees. And we also managed to survive the Second World War, as Mr. LI Shu Fong, the younger brother of Dr. Li Shu Fan, stayed behind and maintained hospital operation during the four years of occupation and despite the exodus of patients.
The same spirit of serving the sick and needy even at the hardest times is also well demonstrated when a lady showed up at our hospital in the 1990s. As one of the many babies that were abandoned at our doorsteps, raised by our staff and finally adopted during the war period, she decided to come back from the United States and ask about her history after all these years. In the end, we were pleased to be able to help her by checking with one of our retired staff members.
Despite the fact that we are no longer a mere “sanatorium”, we decided to keep the word in our name after much deliberation. The reasons are simple: our reputation grew outside of Hong Kong, and the word “Sanatorium” reminds us of our origin and founding vision. Take the Mayo Clinic and Cleveland Clinic as examples: now full-fledged hospitals and teaching institutions, both of them still keep the word “Clinic” in their names to reflect their past history and origin. Also we believe that the word “Sanatorium” makes us stand out and easy to remember: in fact we are now often referred as “Hong Kong San” in short.
History tells us that having reached the Centenary is no small feat for many organisations, and what makes it more significant is that we not only manage to survive but also keep growing over the past decades. In view of cancer being a major cause of death in Hong Kong and all over the world, we are now building a new medical centre for cancer treatment in Hong Kong East. Featuring Hong Kong’s first proton therapy system in Hong Kong and together with four other radiotherapy machines, the new centre will be able to bring together some of the most advanced comprehensive cancer and diagnostic treatments in Hong Kong in a few years’ time. Here I would like to reiterate that, just like an organism, we are either growing or dying. There is nothing in between. So let’s stick around and see what we can achieve in the years to come.
Mr. Wyman LI
Chief Operating Officer, HKSH Medical Group
Manager (Administration), Hong Kong Sanatorium & Hospital