At Kreab Gavin Anderson (Hong Kong) we provide clients a daily synopsis of what’s making headlines in the major Chinese newspapers. I trust you find these updates of interest.
Six private hospitals violate land grant rules
A new report by the Audit Commission has cast a light on the murky accounting of several private hospitals, including violations of land grant regulations. The commission says that six hospitals have committed offenses including failing to provide enough low-cost beds, dividing up land that was intended for hospital use, and paying HK$300 million to administrating organizations without cause. Union Hospital in Sha Tin even sold some of its land to Henderson Land Development for the construction of luxury flats. The hospital earned at least HK$3 billion on this transaction, far exceeding the HK$610 million it paid for land use rights.
Air quality targets have not been met in 25 years
According to the Audit Commission, over the past 25 years, Hong Kong has never fully met its air quality targets. Concentrations of nitrogen dioxide and suspended particulate matter, which can lead to respiratory diseases, have been above the upper limit. Days on which the air pollution index has exceeded 100, a level that is harmful to health, have doubled over the past five years. Environmental groups claim that the Hong Kong government lacks the high-level planning that is needed to resolve the air pollution issue. As a result, departments only govern themselves, while pollution from diesel vehicles and ships has continued to rise.
Lawmakers reject motion of no confidence in policy chiefs
Yesterday, People Power legislator Wong Yuk-man called for the passage of a motion of no confidence in Secretary for Education Eddie Ng and Secretary for Development Paul Chan. The motion was defeated due to the opposition of pro-establishment lawmakers. Several legislators have criticized the two officials for hiding behind Chief Secretary for Administration Carrie Lam. However, Ng said that he has never attempted to hide from the people and that the government had good intentions in pushing for a national education curriculum. Meanwhile, Chan refused to comment on what he called baseless accusations.