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Speech by CS at the 14th Asian Interventional Cardiovascular Therapeutics Congress (English only)
     Following is the speech by the Chief Secretary for Administration, Mr Matthew Cheung Kin-chung, at the 14th Asian Interventional Cardiovascular Therapeutics Congress today (September 8):
Professor Tan (President of Asian Interventional Cardiovascular Therapeutics 2018 Board and President of the Asian Pacific Society of Interventional Cardiology, Professor Tan Huay Cheem), Dr Lau (Chairman of Asian Interventional Cardiovascular Therapeutics 2018 Hosting Committee and President of Hong Kong College of Cardiology, Dr Lau Yuk Kong), Dr Lee (Chairman of Asian Interventional Cardiovascular Therapeutics 2018 Hosting Committee Dr Michael Lee), distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,
     Good morning. It is my honour to join you all today at the opening ceremony of the 14th edition of the Asian Interventional Cardiovascular Therapeutics Congress. First of all, I would like to extend my warmest welcome to all overseas participants who have travelled all the way to this Asia's world city. I would also like to express my heartfelt gratitude to the organising committee of this year's meeting for bringing this prestigious event to Hong Kong for the first time ever.
     According to the World Health Organisation, cardiovascular diseases take the lives of 17.7 million people every year, equivalent to 31 per cent of all global deaths. Locally, cardiovascular diseases have been the third leading cause of death in Hong Kong since 1960s. They claimed about 77 600 inpatient discharges and inpatient deaths in all hospitals and around 6 200 deaths in 2016, accounting for 13.3 per cent of all mortalities. In view of the rapidly ageing population, the number of cardiac patients will continue to grow.
     To counter the challenges caused by heart diseases, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government has put in place comprehensive supporting measures for cardiac patients. On this front, the Hospital Authority (HA), as the largest provider of public medical services in Hong Kong, has enhanced its one-stop healthcare services for cardiac patients, including prevention, diagnosis, intervention, acute care and rehabilitation. Notably, over 13 000 cardiac catheterisation procedures were performed in public hospitals every year, 7 100 of which were Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (PCI) procedures. As timely primary PCI is widely recognised as an effective treatment option for patients suffering from serious heart attacks, the Hospital Authority has established a designated, round-the-clock primary PCI centre in all five hospital clusters in Hong Kong.
     To cope with rising services demand, the Hospital Authority has further expanded the capacity of Cardiac Catheterisation Laboratory and Coronary Care Units in the past few years particularly in districts with suboptimal supply, with a view to improving care for critically ill cardiac patients and enhancing support for cardiovascular interventional services. The Hospital Authority will continue to keep abreast of the latest medical advancement in cardiac field around the globe and introduce the latest medical technologies for patients in Hong Kong.
     As an old saying goes, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure". To prevent coronary heart disease, people should never smoke, follow a balanced diet and avoid food with high cholesterol and fat. Regular physical activity, maintaining an optimum body weight and waist circumference, and reducing stress are also beneficial. To this end, we launched a strategy and action plan, namely, "Towards 2025: Strategy and Action Plan to Prevent and Control Non-communicable Diseases in Hong Kong" in May this year which defines a set of nine targets for Hong Kong to achieve by 2025, including :
  • a 25 per cent relative reduction in risk of premature mortality from cardiovascular diseases and other relevant diseases;
  • a 30 per cent relative reduction in the prevalence of current tobacco use in persons over 15 year-old;
  • at least 10 per cent relative reduction in the prevalence of binge drinking and harmful use of alcohol;
  • a 30 per cent relative reduction in mean population daily intake of salt or sodium, and
  • a 10 per cent relative reduction in the prevalence of insufficient physical activity among adolescents and adults.

     To prevent cardiovascular disease and improve health conditions of the community, Government's efforts alone are not enough. We need the support and co-operation across all sectors and work in close partnership with the community and members of the public to build a health-enhancing physical and social environment and promote the health of all Hong Kong people. Over the years, the Asian Interventional Cardiovascular Therapeutics Congress has been a stern supporter in propelling Hong Kong's cardiovascular therapeutic development forward by providing a valuable regional platform for cardiovascular specialists to exchange views and share experience in the latest state-of-the-art medical treatments and techniques, with a view to enhancing patient care and their quality of life. 
     On this encouraging note, I would like to express again my sincerest appreciation to the organising committee for hosting this year's meeting in this vibrant international city as well as distinguished speakers, professionals and academics who have helped make this event possible. I wish the Congress every success and, for overseas participants, a pleasant and rewarding stay in Hong Kong.
Ends/Saturday, September 8, 2018
Issued at HKT 10:51
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