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Actress Lee Young-ae to join consortium to take over hospital

Actress Lee Young-ae will join a consortium to take over South Korea’s first obstetrics-focused hospital, which is suffering financial difficulties as a result of the declining birth rate, local media outlets reported Tuesday.

According to the report, Lee is planning to participate in a consortium that would take over the Cheil General Hospital & Women’s Healthcare Center. Lee reportedly delivered her twins at the hospital and continues to go there. After the birth of the twins, Lee donated 1.5 million won ($134,650) to the hospital to support multicultural families that need help with expenses related to childbirth.

Lee Young-ae (Yonhap)
Lee Young-ae (Yonhap)

The hospital, which opened in 1963, has been struggling financially over the last few years as the country’s birth rate has dropped to historically low levels. Conflicts between the hospital’s board of directors and its labor union made matters worse, leading the hospital to shut down on Saturday.

The board of directors tried to sell the hospital, but the negotiations ran into difficulties.

Lee, who has been trying to help the hospital since May, decided to join the consortium with other companies that focus on health care and related business areas. Lee’s decision reflects her desire to support a good hospital in light of the country’s low birth rate, her agency told local media outlets.

By Park Ju-young (