New group­ing will run hospi­tal in Tse­ung Kwan O

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - TOP NEWS - By LUIS LIU and WILLA WU in Hong Kong

Hong Kong plans to es­tab­lish a body un­der the Food and Health Bu­reau to de­velop the tra­di­tional Chi­nese medicine (TCM) in­dus­try, Sec­re­tary for Food and Health Sophia Chan Si­uchee told lo­cal re­porters on Wed­nes­day.

This fol­lows Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Car­rie Lam Cheng Yuet­ngor’s elec­tion pledge to ex­pand the TCM in­dus­try on the global mar­ket.

At a lunch with the city’s me­dia, Chan said TCM de­vel­op­ment will be one of her pri­or­i­ties in the next five years. A spe­cial body will be set up to co­or­di­nate the de­vel­op­ment plan.

Chan re­vealed her bu­reau will ab­sorb more tal­ents spe­cial­ized in TCM. The new body would over­see man­age­ment, op­er­a­tion, pro­fes­sional train­ing and re­search on TCM in Hong Kong, ac­cord­ing to Chan.

The TCM body will man­age the planned Tse­ung Kwan O Chi­nese Medicine Hospi­tal — the city’s first-ever pub­lic Chi­nese medicine hospi­tal, which will ad­vance to the bid­ding phase next year, Chan said.

Lam em­pha­sized TCM dur­ing her elec­tion cam­paign. She vowed to study and pro­mote de­vel­op­ment of TCM in Hong Kong and use the city’s ad­van­tages to open up mar­kets i n t he main­land and for­eign coun­tries.

Lam also stressed the im­por­tance of TCM in the pub­lic health sys­tem. She vowed to im­prove the model of Chi­nese medicine clin­ics in all 18 dis­tricts.

In­dus­try lead­ers and po­lit­i­cal heavy­weights have been call­ing for the ex­plo­ration of TCM busi­ness i n Hong Kong in re­cent years. They an­tic­i­pated the in­dus­try will be a new en­gine for Hong Kong’s econ­omy and help the main­land bring its tra­di­tional trea­sures to the global mar­ket through Hong Kong’s world-renowned qual­ity con­trol sys­tem.

The main­land’s TCM in­dus­try gen­er­ated $80 bil­lion last year, ac­cord­ing to the World Fed­er­a­tion of Chi­nese Medicine So­ci­eties. The amount has in­creased 30-fold over the past 20 years. The global TCM mar­ket was worth $173 bil­lion last year, the fed­er­a­tion es­ti­mated.

In re­cent years, in­creases in Western medicine prices have i nflated many coun­tries’ wel­fare spend­ing and TCM could gain a greater share of this mar­ket, var­i­ous med­i­cal aca­demics fore­see.

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