The World Health Organization (WHO) today (April 24) convened the Fourth Working Group Meeting on Traditional Medicine Strategy in Hong Kong to further discuss and develop the next WHO traditional medicine global strategy.
The three-day meeting, jointly organised by the WHO and Hong Kong's Department of Health (DH), continues to devise the next global strategy in the light of the latest global developments in traditional medicine and the challenges that have emerged in the past decade.
Addressing the opening ceremony today, the Director of Health, Dr Constance Chan, said, "Traditional medicine has been, and will continue to be, a precious resource and part of the cultural heritage in many parts of the world. It is our mission to maximise the potential contribution of traditional medicine to the health care system to benefit our people, and our responsibility to ensure this resource is used in a safe, effective and cost-effective manner."
"Production of the global strategy at this point in time cannot be more pertinent," she added.
Dr Chan said that the Chinese Medicine Division of the DH, which is the designated WHO Collaborating Centre for Traditional Medicine, would continue to support the WHO to advocate and implement the global strategy, and facilitate better collaboration and co-ordination among WHO member states and regions.
She also took the opportunity to share with participants some of the recent milestones that mark the Government's strong commitment to the development of Chinese medicine in Hong Kong. These include the setting up of the Chinese Medicine Development Committee (CMDC) by the Chief Executive early this year to give recommendations to the Government concerning the direction and long-term strategy in the future development of Chinese medicines in Hong Kong, and the publication of the fifth volume of the Hong Kong Chinese Materia Medica Standards (HKCMMS) in December last year.
"The CMDC sets the scene for better integration of traditional medicine in the mainstream health care system, contributing to its modernisation and internationalisation, while the HKCMMS with publications up to five volumes so far, covering standards for about 200 commonly used herbs in Hong Kong, is an important step forward to ensure the quality of herbs on sale in the local market," Dr Chan said.
Dr Chan expressed her sincere gratitude to the WHO for its leadership in co-ordinating member states and regions in formulating the global strategy, which would shape the future of health care and bring the whole world to new horizons.
About 20 international experts from the WHO's six regions, namely Africa, the Americas, South-East Asia, Europe, the Eastern Mediterranean and the Western Pacific, as well as local experts attended the meeting.
Ends/Wednesday, April 24, 2013
Issued at HKT 16:00