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Keynote Speech by SFH at

Inaugural Belt & Road Oral Health Summit, Hong Kong

6 August 2017

Dr (Sigmund) LEUNG, Prof YU (Guang-yan), Dr (Patrick) Hescot, Dr (Donald) LI, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,

                   Good morning.  I am very honoured to join you all at the Inaugural Belt & Road Oral Health Summit held in Hong Kong today.  First of all, I would like to extend a warm welcome to all distinguished guests, especially those who have travelled to Hong Kong from around the world.

2.                Hong Kong is a vibrant city with a cosmopolitan setting, coupled with world-class infrastructure comprising, amongst others, an extensive transportation system and state-of-the-art telecommunication facilities.  In addition, our strategic geographical location has allowed us to act as a gateway linking the Mainland China with the rest of the world.  Hong Kong has therefore been an ideal location for hosting international conferences and events for dynamic exchanges of expertise, ideas and technologies.

3.                The Belt and Road Initiative has created a new platform for international cooperation between Mainland China and Belt and Road economies via Hong Kong.  Knowledgeable, experienced and well-connected, Hong Kong has a unique combination of advantages to partner with investors, intermediaries, service providers and project owners worldwide to take advantage of the Belt and Road opportunities.  The question is how to grab these opportunities, not just today and tomorrow, but also in the coming decades.  

4.                With the concerted efforts of the Government and healthcare professionals over the years, Hong Kong has established an excellent healthcare system, which provides quality services to the public.  According to the Oral Health Survey 2011 conducted by the Department of Health, the level of oral health in Hong Kong in terms of the degree of tooth loss is among the best compared with many developed economies.  Thanks to the work of our world-class dental professionals, Hong Kong enjoys some of the highest levels of dental services and oral health in Asia. 

5.                Nevertheless, we are facing a challenging time of today’s healthcare system posed by increasing healthcare needs due to ageing population, rising occurrence of lifestyle-related diseases, rapid development in technology and the public’s increasing expectation on the scope and standard of our healthcare services.  Our dental profession is well placed to prepare for a shift of focus in the scope of services, for example, from performing tooth extraction and providing dentures in the past to providing more prevention, maintenance, and conservative treatments.

6.                We are glad to see that dentistry constantly seeks to widen its horizon in conquering disease and reconstructing areas of congenital deficiencies or malformation.  Increasing recognition by the public of the role that dentistry plays in promoting the health and welfare of people has brought the profession to assuming a greater responsibility.

7.                This year’s programme, under the theme “New Horizon on Dentistry”, covers a wide range of topics and specialty areas.  I thank the Hong Kong Dental Association for hosting this Submit and I trust that everyone would have a stimulating and rewarding exchange.

8.                Lastly, I believe that all of you are aware of the establishment of the new government term on 1 July 2017.  As the Secretary for Food and Health, to safeguard public health, provide quality medical services, ensure food safety and environmental hygiene as well as assisting the sustainable development of fishery and agriculture will be top priorities on my agenda.  My team and I will continue to work hard for the betterment of Hong Kong.  Thank you.