New grouping will run hospital in Tseung Kwan O
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.