MCMIA believes now is an opportune time to revisit Hong Kong government’s decade-old proclamation to establish Hong Kong as an international center for Chinese medicine. MCMIA urges the government to review the current trends in the development of Chinese medicine (CM) in Hong Kong (HK), Mainland and the world in order to formulate a comprehensive and coherent CM policy. MCMIA also suggests that the government should form a Chinese Medicine Development Commission (CMDC) to implement a program enabling HK’s CM sector to play a constructive role in HK’s healthcare system and to occupy a pivotal position in the emerging international CM market.
In the past decade, the Central Government’s CM policies, the international regulations and the healthcare markets around the world have changed so dramatically that modernized CM is gradually assuming an increasingly significant position in many countries’ healthcare systems. This provides an unprecedented opportunity for HK to advance its positions in CM trading, manufacturing, healthcare, R&D and education. It also affords HK one more chance to serve as China’s bridge to the world.
Although HK does not have a CM policy, many HK CM sub-sectors, such as trading, R&D, education and healthcare have actually advanced considerably recently. However, such sporadic and unorchestrated endeavors are often tenuous, ineffectual and unsustainable. The HK government should study the situation, marshal the existing resources and design a comprehensive CM development program to galvanize the HK CM components into a vibrant economic sector and to make it a substantial contributor to HK’s healthcare system to meet the needs of the aging society.
The financial storm following the return of Hong Kong (HK) to the motherland and the current financial tsunami sweeping across from the other side of Pacific demonstrate clearly how precarious HK’s position is if it continually rely solely on the four traditional industries (finance, real estate, trading-logistics and tourism). It has become clear to forward-looking people that HK must strengthen and expand its economic base by erecting new industrial pillars in order to create more high-paying jobs, generate more tax revenue and diversify its industries.
This proposal points out that the modernization trajectory of Chinese medicine (CM) in the past decade in China, HK and the world has transformed CM into an emerging high-technology industry. HK is in a unique position to capitalize on this opportunity to establish itself as a Chinese medicine international center and to turn the Chinese medicine industry into a substantial contributor to HK’s economy.
Towards this end, MCMIA (Modernized Chinese Medicine International Association) calls on the government to study the recent development of CM in order to draw up a comprehensive plan to modernize and strengthen the CM industry in HK and make it a foundation to develop the international center.
Specifically, MCMIA suggests that the government should marshal sufficient public and private resources to organize a Chinese Medicine Development Commission (CMDC) 中醫藥發展專署 to study and implement the plan. MCMIA believes that, as a start, the Commission should be charged with the responsibility to achieve 7objectives. They are:
- To foster the modernization of the CM industry in HK
- To support and promote ICMCM (International Conference & Exhibition of the Modernization of Chinese Medicine) as a trading and information exchange platform.
- To promote the harmonization of CM regulations within the Greater China Region
- To facilitate the development of integrative medicine with concurrent development of medical tourism.
- To develop CM Specialty Colleges for quality assurance and enhancement of CM.
- To establish a CM Informatics Center to support trade, R&D and communication.
- To establish a CM Research Council to fund and drive strategic developments in CM sciences, technology, medicine and product commercialization studies.
MCMIA believes that when these objectives are accomplished, HK will gain a new robust CM industry which would bring health and prosperity to the Hong Kong citizens. At the same time, a CM international center will naturally emerge as a result of these efforts.