Last summer, a team from HK URBEX visited the recently abandoned Siu Lam Hospital in Tuen Mun.
Built in 1972, the derelict hospital specialised in mental health and physiotherapy treatment.
As it was designed in the 60s, many of the buildings in the compound had poor infrastructure.
Leaky roofs often led to infection control issues.
A Human Rights Watch report in the 90s criticised staffing levels and its problematic status as both a prison and mental institution.
Being a correctional facility it had a focus on security, which was to the detriment of regular patients.
It was also found that at least 90% of prisoners were on regular, often very high, doses of oral sedatives, administered to keep them in a constant state of drowsiness.
Some patients were given more than double the normal dose.
Excessive doping helped over-worked staff cope with the large number of violent and mentally disturbed patients.
However, it was found that the drugs led to dependence problems, thereby leading to more violence.
Like many other similar institutions in Hong Kong, Siu Lam had padded cells (or ‘protected rooms’) for unmanageable or violent patients.
Not all inmates were mentally disturbed – a security unit was designed for prisoners who have testified for the prosecution in criminal cases.
In its heyday, Siu Lam psychiatric hospital was home to 270 inmates, 95% of whom required treatment because they suffered from paranoia or other psychiatric disorders.
In 2012, the hospital moved its premises to Castle Peak and this particular facility has remained dormant since.
After only two years, nature already began to digest the abandoned site.
by HKURBEX – Visual creators and storytellers on a mission to unearth Hong Kong’s derelict abandoned sites.
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