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HK Facilitates Development of Chinese Medicine
Hong Kong government has launched a series of initiatives to create a favorable environment conducive to development of Chinese medicine, an official told the opening ceremony of the Third Pan-Pacific Conference on Rehabilitation in Hong Kong Friday.

The Secretary for Health, Welfare and Food Yeoh Eng-kiong elaborated that these initiatives include establishing a comprehensive regulatory framework, provision of formal education in Chinese medicine at tertiary level, promotion of research, development and commercialization of Chinese medicinal products.

The secretary concluded that these initiatives have brought about encouraging results.

Yeoh added that they also plan to introduce Chinese medicine into the public healthcare system, initially in the form of outpatient services.

With the setting up of Chinese medicine outpatient clinics in the territory over the next few years, there would be a wider choice of treatment for patients, greater opportunities for Chinese medicine research, and closer collaboration between western and Chinese medicine, he noted.

According to Yeoh, it is forecasted that in the next 20 years, the number of people aged 65 years above in Hong Kong would reach 1.37 million, representing about 15 percent of its total population.

"In the face of the challenges brought about by a rapidly ageing population, there is an imminent need to advance our knowledge on medical rehabilitation, particularly on how to enhance the quality of life of patients through rehabilitative techniques. The Third Pan-Pacific Conference on Rehabilitation provides us with an excellent opportunity to gain more insight in this area," Yeoh said.

Scholars from around the world gathered at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University for the three-day conference, during which they would exchange views on how to merge the concepts and practices between the east and the west in rehabilitation.

Rehabilitation is a specialty which seeks to restore and maintain individuals at their maximum level of physical, mental, and social function.

(Xinhua News Agency August 23, 2002)

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