May 14, 2019 13:28
Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon has proposed relocating Seoul National University Hospital from Yeongeon-dong to Chang-dong in northern Seoul.
The proposal involves moving the prestigious hospital to the site of the depot of Seoul Metro when it is vacated in 2024. Park wants to turn the area into a hub for biotechnology and medical research.
In an interview with the Chosun Ilbo, Park said, "I proposed the idea to SNU to build the world's best and largest medical hub there. I met with SNU President Oh Se-jung last month and explained this plan. It seemed like he was considering it positively."
The site measures 179,578 sq.m., which is nearly twice as big as the current site of SNU Hospital. "I will lease them the land at a low price for as long as they want, whether it be 50 or 100 years," Park said.
Construction would not start until 2025. "It will be impossible for construction to begin within my term, but I want to have a rough sketch at least," Park added.
Despite the symbolic significance that the current location of the SNU Hospital holds in historic center of Seoul, it has also limited the hospital's expansion due to the proximity of royal palaces. Most of the expansion to date had to be done underground.
An official from SNU Hospital said the hospital does not have an official position on the matter yet. Opposition from alumni who cherish the current site as well as nearby pharmacies is expected.
The Seoul Metropolitan Government recently formed a task force on the relocation that will meet for the first time this week.
- Copyright © Chosunilbo & Chosun.com