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Speech by Acting Chief Executive at 38th Asia Pacific Dental Congress (English only) (with photos/video)

     Following is the speech by the Acting Chief Executive, Mr John C Tsang, at the 38th Asia Pacific Dental Congress (APDC) today (June 17):

Dr Kuan (President of the Asia Pacific Dental Federation, Dr Kuan Chee Keong), Dr Tsang (Chairman of the Local Organising Committee of the APDC, Dr Jeffrey Tsang), Dr Leung (President of the Hong Kong Dental Association, Dr Sigmund Leung), distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,

     Good afternoon.

     I am delighted to be with you all today for this opening ceremony - the 38th Asia Pacific Dental Congress. I understand this is the fourth time Hong Kong has hosted the APDC. For that, my congratulations to the Hong Kong Dental Association for again bringing this major regional dental event to Hong Kong.

     The Asia Pacific Dental Federation has been a champion of oral health and dental education for nearly 60 years in the region. And I am pleased to note that we in Hong Kong have a high standard of dental care, and people here generally enjoy good oral health.

     The degree of tooth loss in Hong Kong, I was told, is among the best in the world. This is an achievement that would not have been possible without the Hong Kong Dental Association (HKDA) and its community-wide promotion of dental hygiene. And I am glad to say that I am happily keeping all 32 of mine, I think, thanks to the good work of my dentists.

     The HKDA has also championed Government-funded community dental programmes, as well as public-private collaboration schemes, among the dental profession here, especially our private practitioners. The public-private programmes provide care for those with special dental needs.

     They include the Loving Smiles Service, which offers subsidised dental care for low-income people with intellectual disabilities, and the Community Care Fund Elderly Dental Assistance Programme, which provides dentures and other related dental services.

     Hong Kong is a rapidly ageing society. And we are acutely aware that demand for dental-care services will only continue to grow.

     That, of course, poses significant demands on our resources and on the development of dental practitioners.

     It is an issue that can only be addressed by our further co-operation. The Government and the dental profession must work together, taking full advantage of modern technology and new care models to meet the anticipated increase in demand for dental services in the coming years.

     Which is why I am particularly pleased with this year's APDC theme - "Advancing Dentistry with Modern Science and Technology".

     Your Congress lectures, workshops and symposiums, and their internationally renowned speakers, will offer much value and interest to the Hong Kong profession, from continuing education opportunities to the latest scientific and technological advances. In short, we are, indeed, grateful to have you here.

     I wish you all a rewarding Congress, and I urge you to find time from your busy schedule to enjoy Hong Kong life - from our skyscraping city to the seaside vistas and country parks, and to our East-West culture as well as our scintillating cuisine.

     Life, after all, is short. You want to get in as much smiling and laughing, and probably as much good food, as you can with your healthy teeth.

     Thank you.

Ends/Friday, June 17, 2016
Issued at HKT 17:53


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