Mr. Li Ka-shing, founder of the Li Ka Shing Foundation, was in Shantou to attend Shantou University’s Council Meeting as its Honorary Chairman. Mr. Li presented souvenirs to the medical staff of the Medical Aid for the Poor and the Hospice Care service programs, which are operated by an affiliated hospital of the Shantou University Medical College. In 1998, the Li Ka-shing Foundation provided funding to establish the only free hospice care service in China, providing quality care and comfort for terminally ill patients in terms of pain relief, psychological counseling and related services.
This scheme is primarily targeted at terminally ill cancer patients who cannot afford proper medical care and attention. The team of doctors and nurses visited the patients at their homes and provided pain relief and psychological counseling. Shantou University’s efforts in providing this much-needed service have been well recognized.
Mr. Li said, “Cancer patients were once contributing members of society. I hope they can live out the remainder of their days in comfort and with dignity.”
Since the medical care program was established, the team from Shantou University Medical College has traveled regularly to remote mountainous areas to provide free health care services. Over 30,000 people have benefited thus far.
In the presentation ceremony, Mr. Li praised these dedicated medical professionals. “Even though the work carried out by your two teams can be unpleasant and often undertaken under difficult conditions, your commitment is truly admirable. Your efforts reflect the noblest side of humanity because in spite of difficult conditions, you carry out your work with love and patience, and you are dedicated to serving the sick and the poor and helping to alleviate their suffering.”
To show his appreciation, Mr. Li selected a batch of watches, and etched on the back of these watches the names of the medical staff, his own name, and the words “Benefiting Mankind”. Mr. Li also said he would consider setting up an independent fund to support these meaningful projects on a continuous basis.
Shantou University’s Council members, professors and teachers joined Mr. Li at the ceremony and reviewed the University’s accomplishments over its 19-year history. At present, Shantou University is the only general university in eastern Guangdong, with over 7,000 students. Over 15,000 students have graduated from Shantou University. The four affiliated hospitals of the Shantou University Medical School boast a total of 1,700 beds.
Mr. Li has high hopes for the future development of Shantou University. “Building on our solid foundation, we will focus on our core disciplines and seek out programs that have vast potential and speed up their development to compete to be among the best in the nation.
“China will join the WTO soon. The demand for quality people will be more urgent than ever as the country’s external trade and relations continue to increase. We expect Shantou University to play an increasingly important role in the training of talented people. Developing Shantou University to become a great university that produces outstanding graduates for the Shantou area as well as for the rest of the nation has always been my desire. It has been a pleasure working with you all these years. I hope we can continue to work together to promote the development of education in China and to develop Shantou University to a point where it is not only comparable to other schools, but where it can achieve lasting benefit for our people.”