Give us your ideas


28 - One busy morning (Wang Ling)

香港集思会提出10项建议 促进中医药在香港的发展

(March 21, 2010, Hong Kong) Hong Kong Ideas Centre (HKIC) today announced the results of a study it has recently completed on Chinese medicine (CM). It also proposed ten recommendations to help develop CM services and products.

Attending the press conference were HKIC’s CM study group advisors Dr. C. H. Leong, Dr. Ko Wing Man, Professor Liu Liang, and study group member, Mr. S. C. Mak.

Mr. Lawrence Fung, Chairman of HKIC’s Board of Directors said, “With the rising demand and increase in knowledge of Chinese medicine among members of the public, Hong Kong should ride on this advantage to upgrade the quality and level of service for CM. Capitalizing on the huge potential of the CM industry as a contributor to our economy, we should further develop CM services for health and wellness enhancement, prevention of diseases and treatment of chronic illnesses; so as to alleviate the society’s medical burden posed by an aging population.”

“In addition, using advanced technology, Hong Kong enterprises and universities can further enhance our strengths in related testing and certification, medicine development and re-exports. With this in mind, HKIC proposes 10 recommendations with focus on two major areas, i.e. CM services and education, and CM products,” added Mr. Fung.

Echoing the message, Dr. C. H. Leong said, “Hong Kong has already made encouraging achievements on statutory regulation, education, research and development of Chinese medicine since the Hong Kong Government announced its intention to develop Hong Kong as a CM hub in 1998.  Moreover, with the gradual aging of our population and elderly people’s preference to consult CM practitioners, some public hospitals have begun to provide outpatient CM services besides conducting related research and training. We see this as the high time to further develop CM services and promote the CM industry in the interest of Hong Kong’s community and economy.”

Another study group advisor, Dr. Ko Wing Man said, “The Hospital Authority has already been incorporating CM services into our public health system. It is hoped that through successful clinical trials and close cooperation, complementary CM and WM treatments can be offered together to the maximum benefits of patients.

“In 2009 the Hong Kong Anti-Cancer Society opened a Cancer Rehabilitation Centre and took the lead to provide CM-WM services to inpatients.  Within the Centre is a CM clinic which provides CM services to outpatients as well. This CM Centre was established through cooperation between the Anti-Cancer Society and Hong Kong Baptist University. All these have improved the rehabilitation opportunity for cancer patients in Hong Kong,” said Dr. Ko.

HKIC’s Key Recommendations include:

(1)   Establish a CMbased hospital

Last December the Hong Kong Government invited organizations from the private sector to express interest in developing private hospitals on four designated sites. HKIC suggests the Government to take this opportunity to initiate discussions and provide incentives to prospective bidders on the possibility of setting up a CM-based hospital, or at least to provide CM inpatient and outpatient services in these new hospitals.

 “Besides providing comprehensive services to patients, this CM-based hospital should establish close relationship with local universities, so as to provide an important base for teaching, training, practice and clinical research. This is instrumental to the nurturing of high quality CM professionals in Hong Kong,” said Professor Liu Liang, study group advisor.

(2)   Strengthen collaboration and cooperation with the mainland

Member of the study group, Mr. S. C. Mak said, “Mainland China is the world’s largest producer as well as the biggest consumption market for CM.  Hong Kong should capitalize on this hinterland for its CM development. We should also take advantage of concessions under the Mainland/HK Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA) to penetrate the China market.  We support the Government to allow more renowned CM practitioners from the mainland to come to Hong Kong for clinical teaching and research. We call on the government to seek ways to harmonize standards and registration requirements for CM products with the mainland. At the same time, we see it important for the two territories to increase their collaboration in R&D.

(3) Promote the development of specialist CM services and education

HKIC favours the development of specialist CM services and education. In selecting the specialist areas for promotion, attention should focus on those of high demand among patients as well as those with proven effectiveness. Examples are: chronic illnesses, elderly ailments, health maintenance, etc. The development of specialist services will help attract high caliber teachers and outstanding students to join the profession, whereby the profession’s overall recognition, professional image and quality of services can be enhanced over time.
“Of all the specialist areas in Chinese medicine, we consider acupuncture as having the highest potential. Supported by internationally recognized research and plenty of clinical trials, acupuncture is well received in the West,” said Mr. Mak. 

Other recommendations

HKIC also suggests the Government to set up of a high-level steering committee to assume the overall coordination among different stake-holders and to map out comprehensive, coherent and sustainable strategies for the long-term development of CM in Hong Kong.

The report also calls for the collaboration between CM and WM based on a patient-centred principle. A priority “Health Check and Maintenance” service could be developed, using WM’s advanced technology to conduct body check and CM services for health maintenance and wellness.

In the area of economic contribution, HKIC reckons Hong Kong should enhance its testing and certification capability to provide value-added for Chinese herbal medicine export. In addition, it is recommended that development of proprietary Chinese medicines should move towards two directions: health supplements and drugs. The establishment of a CMbased hospital and greater collaboration with the mainland are conducive to R&D of proprietary Chinese medicines in Hong Kong.

HKIC maintains that Hong Kong enjoys many distinctive advantages for developing CM. Chinese medicine encompasses the culture and wisdom of thousands of years of Chinese history. It has been practiced consistently and effectively from generation to generation. On the other hand, WM has a high reputation on clinical trials and effectiveness. Its technological advancement in the past century was remarkable. 

Hong Kong has built a solid foundation for CM services over the past decade. It possesses high standards of WM service and experience in medical management at the same time. Hong Kong should ride on this unparallel strength and opportunity to bridge the gap between the East and West, and to promote the modernization, scientific and industrial developments of CM.” 

A full copy of the study report and its recommendations are available on the HKIC’s website:




About the Hong Kong Ideas Centre

Established in December 2008 by a group of devotees, Hong Kong Ideas Centre (HKIC) is an independent, apolitical non-profit organisation whose motto is – “Think and Build for the Future”. To help harness collective wisdom, the Centre’s objectives include: (1) increasing Hong Kong’s competitiveness, (2) promoting sustainable economic and social development, and (3) improving Hong Kong community’s quality of life.

Since its establishment, the HKIC has conducted a series of studies on various issues and made recommendations that promote Hong Kong’s economic and social well being. These include:

          12 measures to promote Hong Kong as an RMB settlement centre

          11 recommendations to transform Hong Kong into a “Creative City”

          10 recommendations to develop a green economy


About the Advisors

Dr. C. H. Leong:         Non-executive member, Executive Council; Chairperson, Elderly Commission; Chairperson, Council on Human Reproductive Technology; Chairperson, Council of the University of Hong Kong

Dr. Ko Wing Man:     Chairman, Hong Kong Anti-Cancer Society; Director, International Foundation of Traditional Chinese Medicine Development, Ltd.; Former President, Hong Kong Association for Integration of Chinese-Western Medicine Ltd.

Professor Liu Liang:     Dean, The School of Chinese Medicine (SCM) of the Hong Kong Baptist University; Member, Chinese Medicine Council of Hong Kong



For press enquiries, please contact:

David Woo  Tel: 21141486 / 6626 5762    

Yvonne Kwok        Tel: 2114 1488 / 9322 4639