Two of the three hospitals will be built while the third will be an extension of the existing North District Hospital, Wong said on a radio program yesterday.

"The government has already reserved land near the future Kwu Tung MTR Station to build a large hospital," Wong added.

The Food and Health Bureau and the Hospital Authority are studying the possibility of building the other new hospital in Hung Shui Kiu, and also an extension to North District Hospital, he added.

The Kwu Tung Hospital and the extended North District Hospital will also serve as teaching hospitals, sources said.

"These two hospitals will be crucial since they will be teaching future medical staff and details are still being mapped out," sources said.

The government previously said it expected the development of the northern metropolis to be completed in 20 years, which would provide a total of 926,000 flats.

Wong said housing units and facilities will start rolling out for the public in about 10 years.

"Housing projects in the new development areas in northern Kwu Tung and northern Fan Ling will complete their construction one after another starting in 2024," Wong said.

He added that there will be 200,000 flats to be completed in the next 10 years in the 30,000-hectare northern metropolis development plan.

Meanwhile, as the government proposed in its last policy address to extend the East Rail Line toward Luohu in Shenzhen, a new station will be added between Lo Wu and Sheung Shui Station in Hong Kong.

Wong said the new station - with the preliminary name of Lo Wu South Station - is well-connected to the transport network, and therefore housing units will be built near the station.

"Man Kam To is just east, and if we go further east, we can reach Heung Yuen Wai Boundary Control Point.

"Therefore the plot is suitable for logistic and comprehensive development," he said. In addition, the government is studying possibilities to adjust the function of the Man Kam To border control point, Wong noted.

It is looking into possibilities of a colocation arrangement that will see immigration clearance procedures being done at the Shenzhen side of the border crossing, he added.

"It may be more appropriate to use Man Kam To for logistic, commercial and residential development," Wong said. "But more details are not available until the study is completed."