Card Shan: a new Catholic Hospital for Taipei’s poor and workers
by Bernardo Cervellera
The hospital’s foundation stone was blessed. The facility will work closely with the Faculty of Medicine of Fu Jen University. With 800 beds, it will provide outpatient services to 5,000 people a day. Local authorities are grateful for the new structure. The hospital will be inspired by papal teachings on the pastoral care of the sick.
Taipei (AsiaNews) – The new hospital the Catholic Church is building in suburban Taipei “will help the poor and workers in the area. It will bear witness to Catholic care for the sick,” said Card Paul Khan, archbishop emeritus of Kaohsiung, as he blessed the foundation stone of the new health care facility, which will work closely with Fu Jen Catholic University in Xinzhuang, a few kilometres from the Taiwanese capital.
The colourful ceremony was held on Saturday in the presence of many Taiwanese bishops as well as Mgr Zenon Grocholewski, prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education, and local politicians and donors to the future facility, many of whom are Fu Jen alumni.
A concert of percussion instruments and a lion dance by university students was followed by a moment of prayer and an address by Cardinal Shan on the value of the new facility. After the archbishop blessed the foundation stone, other guests symbolically added some sand.
The 800-bed hospital will be built near the university. It is expected to provide outpatient services in its day hospital for 5,000 patients a day. The new hospital’s price tag should come to US$ 4,000,000.
Hou Youyi, deputy mayor of greater Taipei (which includes Xinzhuang), said he appreciated the courageous decision by Catholics, since the area has 12.4 beds per 10,000 residents. Under international standards, there should be 30 beds per 10,000 residents, so the new hospital will provide a good service.
Speaking to AsiaNews, Card Shan said that additional reasons were behind the birth of hospital. “First, you have the needs of medical students at the Catholic university who require a place to practice their skills. At the same time, the links with the university’s Faculty of Medicine should boost research and treatment in the hospital.”
Similarly, “I think it is important for students and doctors to practice medicine after learning the Catholic approach to medicine and patients. From this point of view, we want this hospital to draw inspiration from papal directives about the pastoral care of this sick, who will be mostly poor and workers from the area.”
As he greeted participants, Card Grocholewski said he hoped that the hospital would excel not only in technical terms but also in the ways it “welcomes the sick with a soul full of love, fruit of Christian witness.”