[THE INVESTOR] Popular Korean actress Lee Young-ae has joined a consortium to acquire Cheil General Hospital in Seoul, the first women-specific medical institution which has been virtually closed due to financial difficulties, according to news reports on Jan. 1.
She has joined a consortium to bid for the hospital, founded in 1963, which has filed for court receivership, along with a professor at Seoul National University and other firms.
The hospital has been facing financial problems for a long time due to Korea’s low birth rate and conflicts between management and the labor union.
She is reportedly keen on bailing out the hospital as she gave birth to all her children at the hospital, and has been receiving treatment there often.
Cheil Medical Foundation which operates the hospital has been pushing to sell it for some time now. A large number of nurses have taken a leave of absence or quit their jobs, while the director has also left his position. To make matters worse, the board chairman was recently probed by police for dereliction of duties.
The hospital has shut down the delivery room and stopped its ambulance and shuttle bus services.
(Cheil General Hospital website)
“Some facilities will not operate normally for the time being due to the current situation. Medication and reexamination are possible except for some treatments,” the hospital said in an online statement.
The actresses has been operating Lee Young-ae Happy Foundation to help multicultural families and donated 150 million won (US$134,000) to the Cheil General Hospital for the underprivileged, including low-income families and single mothers.
By Lee So-jeong (email@example.com)