Secretary for Health briefs Chinese Medicine Development Committee on policy initiatives relating to development of Chinese medicine under Policy Address (with photo)
The Under Secretary for Health, Dr Libby Lee, representatives of the Health Bureau, the Hospital Authority (HA) and the Department of Health also attended the meeting.
Professor Lo said, "CM has all along been an integral part of Hong Kong's healthcare system, with its strengths fully demonstrated during the fight against the COVID-19 epidemic. The Chief Executive announced a number of policy initiatives in his inaugural Policy Address, including establishing the post of the Commissioner for Chinese Medicine Development, strengthening the functions of the Chinese Medicine Unit (CMU) under the Health Bureau, increasing the quota of Government-subsidised CM out-patient services, regularising and expanding the integrated Chinese-Western medicine (ICWM) services, and commencing formulation of the overall CM development blueprint, with a view to further promoting the long-term development of CM in Hong Kong on all fronts."
Among the various policy initiatives, the CMU will work closely with the CM sector under the leadership of the newly established Commissioner for Chinese Medicine Development in taking forward a number of initiatives in numerous aspects by phases, including:
- collaborating with the CM sector in formulating a blueprint for the overall development of CM in Hong Kong, to set out the short, medium and long-term objectives and related recommendations in view of the overall development and long-term planning of CM in Hong Kong. The blueprint will cover various areas, such as positioning and strategies of CM development, professional development and training of CM personnel, CM service development, CM drugs industry development, CM-related research, promotion and knowledge popularisation, application of technologies, collaboration with the Mainland, Guangdong–Hong Kong–Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA) and the international community;
- increasing the quota of Government-subsidised CM out-patient services provided at the Chinese Medicine Clinics cum Training and Research Centres (CMCTRs) in the 18 districts to 800 000 per year;
- regularising and expanding the ICWM services implemented by the HA, including increasing the number of participating public hospitals and selected diseases, and actively exploring the launch of new "cancer care" ICWM services, so as to support cancer patients of different stages, thereby giving full play to the advantages of CM and ICWM;
- further enhancing the operation of the Chinese Medicine Development Fund, including streamlining vetting processes, enhancing the funding schemes and expanding the scope of beneficiaries, with a view to supporting the CM sector in a more effective and targeted manner and allowing it play a more strategic role, so as to achieve the objective of accelerating the long-term development of CM;
- exploring with the CM sector the initiatives to promote the professional development, training and research in relation to Chinese medicine practitioners and CM drug professionals, with a view to further encouraging CM professional advancement;
- deepening the collaboration in CM between Hong Kong and the Mainland, the GBA, and the international community, including talent nurturing, scientific research, exchanges, industry development and market development, and enhancing Hong Kong's role under the blueprint of the Construction Plan for the Chinese Medicine Highlands in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (2020-2025); and
- strengthening public education and publicity on CM to further enhance public awareness of CM.
Meanwhile, the Government will further deepen the role of CM in primary healthcare through enhancement of CM service elements in the District Health Centres/ Expresses, strengthening the participation of community network service providers and launching more collaboration with the 18 CMCTRs.
In addition, the Government is actively pushing forward the construction of the two flagship institutions, namely the first-of-its-kind Chinese Medicine Hospital and the Government Chinese Medicines Testing Institute in Hong Kong, which are expected to commence services by phases from 2025.
"I would like to express gratitude to members for their valuable advice in relation to the policy initiatives relating to the development of CM set out in the Policy Address. The Government will work hand in hand with the stakeholders of the CM sector in taking forward various initiatives. With our concerted efforts, the development of CM in Hong Kong would certainly usher in a new vison, contributing to the building of 'Healthy Hong Kong' and 'Healthy China'," Professor Lo said.
Established in 2013 and chaired by the Secretary for Health, the CMDC drives the direction and long-term strategy of the future development of CM in Hong Kong by providing recommendations to the Government on four key areas, namely the development of CM services, personnel training and professional development, scientific research and development, and development of the CM drug industry (including CM drug testing).
Ends/Monday, November 14, 2022
Issued at HKT 22:10
Issued at HKT 22:10