Chinese medicine committee meets

The fifth-term Chinese Medicine Development Committee held its first meeting today to discuss the latest progress of various initiatives relating to the development of Chinese medicine.   The meeting was chaired by Secretary for Food & Health Prof Sophia Chan during which relevant government departments and organisations briefed the committee on the initiatives.   They include the preparation for commissioning the Chinese Medicine Hospital, preparatory work for the establishment of the Government Chinese Medicines Testing Institute, the progress of government-subsidised Chinese medicine services, participation of Chinese medicine clinics and training & research centres to combat COVID-19 as well as the progress of the Chinese Medicine Development Fund.   Noting that the Chinese Medicine Hospital and the Government Chinese Medicines Testing Institute will be commissioned in 2025, Prof Chan said the Government will continue its support to the Chinese medicine sector through the fund.   “Coupled with the staunch support to Hong Kong from the central government under the Construction Plan for the Chinese Medicine Highlands in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (2020-2025), the Chinese medicine sector of Hong Kong is presented with unprecedented opportunities for further development.   “The Government will keep on working closely with the sector to join efforts in promoting the development of Chinese medicine," she added.   The committee noted that the design and construction work of the Chinese Medicine Hospital and the Government Chinese Medicines Testing Institute began in late June. The Food & Health Bureau is working with Baptist University on the preparation for their commissioning.   The committee was briefed on the work progress in relation to the 18 Chinese medicine clinics and training & research centres, including the provision of an annual quota of around 620,000 for government-subsidised outpatient services through them.   It also noted that the fund since its launch in 2019 has rolled out funding schemes to support training, clinic facility improvement, enhancement of proprietary Chinese medicine manufacturing quality and management systems. About 3,000 funding applications have been approved so far.   The bureau is reviewing the fund's overall implementation to further enhance the funding schemes and the utilisation of resources so as to support the Chinese medicine sector in a more effective and targetted manner.   Established in 2013, the Chinese Medicine Development Committee gives advice with a focus on four key areas: the development of Chinese medicine services, personnel training and professional development, scientific research and development, and development of the Chinese medicine drug industry.

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