Legislative Council Panel on Health Services
2015 Policy Address
Policy Initiatives of the Food Health Bureau
(Extract on development of Chinese medicine)
(a) Enhancing Healthcare Service Provision
(ix) Testing centre for Chinese medicines
16. The Government has all along been committed to promoting the development of Chinese medicine in Hong Kong. After years of efforts, we have already established a sound regulatory regime for Chinese medicine. On this solid foundation, the Government is now actively examining the future development needs of the Chinese medicine sector, so that the widely accepted traditional Chinese medicine can play a more active role in promoting public health. The Chinese medicine sector also has high expectation on its development.
17. To this end, the Chief Executive has established the Chinese Medicine Development Committee in February 2013 to focus on the study of four major areas, namely the development of Chinese medicine services, personnel training and professional development, research and development and development of the Chinese medicines industry (including Chinese medicines testing). Further to the Government’s acceptance of the Committee’s recommendation on the development of Chinese medicine hospital, the integrated Chinese-Western medicine (ICWM) and the Hong Kong Chinese Materia Medica Standards (HKCMMS) project in early 2014, the 2015 Policy Address announces that the Government has accepted the Committee’s recommendation to set up a testing centre for Chinese medicines managed by the DH. The testing centre will specialise in scientific research on Chinese medicines, with a view to setting reference standards on safety, quality and testing methods of Chinese medicines. With the guidance of the advisory board formed by renowned international experts under the HKCMMS project, the DH will continue to study and formulate more HKCMMS through the testing centre. The testing centre will also embark on high–end research of Chinese medicines with a view to strengthening the capability for the quality control and identification of Chinese medicines. A herbarium on Chinese medicines with international standard will be set up. Through various platforms and with closer collaboration with the relevant international and Mainland organisations, the testing centre will help promote the HKCMMS and the reference standards for testing of Chinese medicines as authoritative international benchmarks to pave way for the internationalisation of Hong Kong’s Chinese medicines industry. The DH will commence preparation work in 2015 for setting up the testing centre.
(e) Development of Chinese Medicine
65. At present, there are about 40 Chinese medicine clinics (CMCs) operated by local universities and NGOs on a self-financing basis. Since 2003, we have also established 18 public CMCs in the territory. Operated under a tripartite model involving the HA, NGOs and local universities, these public CMCs provide Chinese medicine consultation and related services for the local community at affordable prices. 66. The Government has reserved a site in Tseung Kwan O for the development of a Chinese medicine hospital and is now studying, in collaboration with the Chinese Medicine Development Committee, the feasible mode of operation of the Chinese medicine hospital. In this connection, in order to gather experience on the regulation and operation of the ICWM and Chinese medicine in-patient service which shall form the basis for formulating the regulation and mode of operation of the Chinese medicine hospital, the Government has commissioned the HA to implement a 2-year ICWM pilot project. Phase I of the pilot project has been launched since September 2014 for in-patients of three HA’s hospitals for three disease areas, namely stroke rehabilitation, low back pain and palliative care for cancer. The HA will conduct an interim review in the first quarter of 2015, and then plan the timetable for implementing the Phase II of the pilot project in another three HA’s hospitals.
67. The Chinese Medicine Development Committee has studied and endorsed the views submitted by its two sub-committees regarding the development of Chinese medicine hospital, the ICWM, the HKCMMS project and the testing centre for Chinese medicines, and has forwarded its recommendations to the Government. The Committee will continue to carry out more in-depth studies to follow up on the above recommendations, and will embark on the deliberation of other subjects, such as strengthening the professional training for Chinese medicine.