Following is the speech (English only) by the Permanent Secretary for Health, Welfare and Food, Mrs Carrie Yau, at the Official Opening and Presentation Ceremony of the Asian Association for Dynamic Osteosynthesis 10th Anniversary Symposium today (October 5):
Dr Shen, Mr Tam, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,
It is a great pleasure to officiate at this Opening Ceremony of the 10th Anniversary Symposium of the Asian Association for Dynamic Osteosynthesis and address such a distinguished audience. I would like to take this opportunity to extend a very warm welcome to our distinguished guests and all participants to this Symposium.
Musculoskeletal disorders have an enormous impact on both individuals and societies. In Hong Kong, studies showed that about half of people aged 60 or above suffer from some forms of bone problems, and bone disorders are one of the five major causes of disability and prolonged hospital stay of our older population. The number of hip fractures has increased by 200 percent over the past 20 years. On average, ten of our elders fracture their hips each day. About 70 percent of these patients would remain permanently disabled while their mortality rate is about 20 percent. It is important for both the healthcare professionals and the community to realise the growing burden of musculoskeletal disorders to our society and we should accord priority in promoting cost-effective prevention and treatment for such diseases and empowering patients to participate in their own care.
Founded in 1992 by a group of Asian orthopaedic surgeons, the Asian Association for Dynamic Osteosynthesis has been very active in promoting the standard of fracture management in Asian countries. The Association organised annual symposia on orthopaedic trauma care to facilitate the exchange of experience in advance clinical practice with world-renowned experts, and ran workshops on fracture management in Hong Kong and various Asian cities for the continuous education of orthopaedic surgeons and nurses.
This year's Symposium marks the 10th Anniversary of the Association and is organised in collaboration with the Bone and Joint Decade - a global umbrella organisation with over 46 National Action Networks and over 750 professional societies, patient advocacy groups, governments and research institutions. The main theme of the Symposium is on musculoskeletal trauma resulting from road traffic and geriatric fall injuries, most aptly chosen given the prevalence of these injuries in Asian countries. In the coming two days in Hong Kong, and the ensuing two days in Shanghai, the symposium will provide a unique opportunity for local and international orthopaedic professionals to exchange and share their knowledge on how these two main causes of injuries could be treated and prevented through state-of-the-art technologies. With the outstanding programme prepared by the Organising Committee and the gathering of so many internationally renowned speakers and participants, I am sure we all stand to learn much from this Symposium. This Symposium will surely contribute much to ensuring the region's orthopaedic trauma care remains at the forefront of professional practice.
I would like to thank the Association for organising this meaningful event. I wish you all a rewarding and fulfilling experience in this Symposium, and for those joining us from overseas, a pleasant and exciting stay in our dynamic and exhilarating city.
End/Saturday, October 5, 2002