Speaking on the sidelines of a medical forum yesterday, Lo said the hospital contract will be fine, but HKU and Shenzhen's government need more time for discussion.

Reports said the 10-year contract between HKU and Shenzhen municipal government on the hospital ended in July but both parties only extended the contract to the end of this year.

Lo confirmed that his contract as the hospital chief executive will be finished at the end of this year, adding that he will have to follow HKU's contract as he was appointed by the university.

He said he believed that the collaboration between HKU and Shenzhen will be fine and that the hospital will continue its operation.

One of the topics was whether Shenzhen's municipal government will provide extra funding for the hospital.

Lo also noted that the hospital is the biggest platform for cross-border medical collaboration in the Greater Bay Area, adding that it is the best example of collaboration between Hong Kong and Shenzhen.

An HKU spokesman said the hospital is operating smoothly, adding: "The two sides are currently striving to strengthen joint development in various fields, including enhancing cooperation in the HKU-SZ Hospital project."

Located in the Futian district of Shenzhen, the hospital has already started its second-phase expansion project to increase the total bed number to 3,000 in accordance with government planning, its website says.

The hospital opened on July 1, 2012. Lo began his tenure as chief executive of the hospital in November 2016.

He had succeeded founding chief executive Grace Tang Wai-king.