Tung Wah Group of Hospitals (TWGHs)
Many scholars who research on local history believe that the history of the Tung Wah Group of Hospitals (TWGHs) forms an important part of Hong Kong’s societal development. From the early development of Hong Kong until today, the Group has been providing the much needed welfare services for the community, such as free medication, education and burial for the underclass and relief for victims of natural calamities.
Established in 1870, the Tung Wah Hospital (the group’s pioneering operation) is widely recognized as the first hospital in China having adopted western hospital mode in providing Chinese medicine services. Later, Tung Wah Hospital gradually replaced the Man Mo Temple’s leading role to arbitrate in disputes in the local community.
In 1880, the hospital established free schools, which eventually adopted modern teaching methods in the 1920s and 1930s, was recognized as one of the leading organizations that provided education for children in poverty. TWGHs had essentially transcended the limitations embedded in traditional social practices such as indigenous norms, ancestral roots, dialects etc., and had developed organizational features of a charitable body unique to the colonially ruled territory.
In addition, the Tung Wah Coffin Home had since the 19th century been delivering a distinctive welfare service in Hong Kong – bone repatriation services for Chinese abroad, which signifies the reputation that TWGHs had enjoyed worldwide. From all these, we can see that the development of the Group play an important role in the development of Hong Kong’s medical, education and community services.
TWGHs has been all along upholding its mission “To heal the sick and to relieve the distressed; to care for the elderly and to rehabilitate the disabled; to promote education and to nurture youngsters; and to raise the infants and to guide the children.” Nowadays, TWGHs has become the largest charitable organization in Hong Kong. For over a hundred years, The Group’s medical and health, education and community services have developed rapidly to fulfill the needs of the society and to provide high quality services at low rates. Today, TWGHs operates over 279 services centres with staff strength of over 13,000 members (including hospitals), and a total recurrent expenditure close to 3.2 billion Hong Kong Dollars.See more