Secretary for Health attends 5th Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area Conference on Inheritance, Innovation and Development of Traditional Chinese Medicine in Foshan (with photos)

     The Secretary for Health, Professor Lo Chung-mau, led a delegation to attend the 5th Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA) Conference on Inheritance, Innovation and Development of Traditional Chinese Medicine in Foshan today (September 14). He stressed that Hong Kong will continue to drive the advancement of Chinese medicine (CM) on all fronts with a view to contributing to the national development of CM.
     Professor Lo said, "The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government is most grateful for the nation's support and guidance for the development of CM in Hong Kong. We will continue to give full play to the characteristics of CM in Hong Kong as well as our strengths in the service system, regulatory framework and standard-setting so as to foster Hong Kong's engagement to a greater extent in the construction of CM highlands in the GBA, thereby being an effective gateway for the nation to connect with the world and making contributions to the national development of CM.
     "CM plays an integral part in Hong Kong's healthcare system. The HKSAR Government is committed to promoting the high-quality development of CM all round. Among all, significant achievements have been made in aspects such as construction of the two flagship institutes, namely the very first Chinese Medicine Hospital in Hong Kong and the Government Chinese Medicines Testing Institute, strengthening of the talent pool of CM professionals, establishment of a comprehensive CM service network, fostering scientific research and standard-setting for CM testing as well as optimisation of the policy framework and top-tier design." 
     At the Conference, Professor Lo witnessed the signing of agreements on multiple GBA CM co-operation projects including that on the establishment of a collaboration framework for GBA CM Visiting Scholars Programme among the Hospital Authority (HA), Guangdong Provincial Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine and the First Affiliated Hospital of the Guangzhou University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, with a view to enhancing clinical professional exchanges and pushing ahead the development of integrated Chinese-Western medicine treatment services. Representatives of the HA and the Department of Health participated in the keynote session and roundtable discussion respectively to share with the participants Hong Kong's progress and achievements in developing high-quality CM services and industry.
     In the afternoon, Professor Lo and his delegation attended the seminar convened by the Party Group Member of the National Health Commission cum Party Secretary and Commissioner of the National Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine (NATCM), Professor Yu Yanhong, on the co-operation mechanism of the construction of CM highlands in the GBA. At the seminar, relevant government officials and institution representatives in the GBA exchanged views on the establishment of a standing collaboration mechanism and co-operation platform, so as to take forward the work of the construction of CM highlands in the GBA.
     Professor Lo said, "My heartfelt gratitude goes to the relevant Mainland ministries/authorities and institutions for their staunch support for the CM development in Hong Kong and implementation of an array of policy initiatives which are favourable to Hong Kong, such as recruiting Hong Kong's CM practitioners to practise in GBA public healthcare institutions and streamlining the vetting and approval procedures for the registration of Hong Kong-registered traditional proprietary Chinese medicines for external use on the Mainland. The CM schools and research institutions in Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao have also been actively promoting numerous projects on the nurturing of CM talent as well as research and innovation to encourage CM academic exchanges and inheritance.
     "Under the leadership of the NATCM, the co-operation mechanism of the construction of CM highlands in the GBA will further reinforce the collaboration amongst the governments and institutions in the three places on aspects such as information sharing, liaison and exploration as well as experience sharing, thereby giving an impetus to CM inheritance and innovation as well as driving CM to go global. Looking ahead, Hong Kong will embrace more opportunities in CM development. The HKSAR Government will pursue exchanges and co-operation with Guangdong and Macao further for the construction of CM highlands in the GBA and integration into the national development of 'Healthy China' through concerted efforts."
     Co-organised by the Traditional Chinese Medicine Bureau of Guangdong Province, the Health Bureau of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government (HHB), the Health Bureau of the Macao Special Administrative Region Government and the People's Government of Foshan Municipality, the conference this year aims to promote in-depth integration and development of CM in the GBA as well as full implementation of the Construction Plan for the Chinese Medicine Highlands in the GBA (2020-2025). Officials from the NATCM, relevant ministries/authorities in the GBA, as well as representatives of CM services, education and industry engaged in thorough exchanges and discussion under the theme of "High-quality Development of CM in the New Era" to strengthen multilateral co-operation.
     Members of the Hong Kong delegation include the Director of Health, Dr Ronald Lam; the Chief Executive of the HA, Dr Tony Ko; the Acting Project Director of the Chinese Medicine Hospital Project Office of the HHB, Ms Virginia Leung; the Acting Commissioner for Chinese Medicine Development of the HHB, Mr Dominic Ho; the Assistant Director of Health (Chinese Medicine), Dr Edmund Fong; and the Chief Manager (Chinese Medicine) of the HA, Ms Rowena Wong.

Ends/Thursday, September 14, 2023
Issued at HKT 18:05