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11th Echo Hong Kong

Opening Ceremony

25 November 2017 (Saturday)

Speech for SFH

Dr. Lau Yuk-kong (Program Co-Director, Echo Hong Kong), Dr. Lee Kwok-Lun (Program Co-Director, Echo Hong Kong), Dr. Thomas Prabowo Tunggal (Program Co-Director, Echo Hong Kong), distinguished guests, colleagues, ladies and gentlemen,

                  It is my great pleasure to take part in the opening ceremony of the 11th Echo Hong Kong Conference organised by the Echocardiography (Hong Kong) and supported by the Ruttonjee and Tang Shiu Kin Hospitals and Hong Kong Tuberculosis, Chest & Heart Diseases Association.  Let me first extend my warmest welcome to all of you, especially those who have travelled a long distance to join us today.

2.               In Hong Kong, we are facing constant healthcare challenges arising from an aging population, sedentary lifestyle, smoking and excessive intake of salt and sugar which are known risks of developing heart disease, stroke and hypertension.  As far as heart disease is concerned, it has become the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in Hong Kong.  Heart disease covers a wide range of conditions such as coronary disease, congestive heart failure, cardiac rhythm disorder and valvular disease.  While the burden of heart disease is increasing in Hong Kong, it is encouraging to note that our cardiologists are dedicated to the enhancement of clinical outcome to patients.  We are also working hard with the community to promote healthy lifestyle which can help bring down the incidence of various heart diseases.  

3.               Echocardiography is the most common and important investigation for patients with cardiovascular disorders nowadays.  The demand for ECHO services in Hong Kong has also been rising. In 2016/17, over 62 000 elective Transthoracic Echocardiogram (TTE) were performed in the Hospital Authority, not to mention the ECHO services performed urgently at bedside, as well as the Stress and Transesophageal ECHO.

4.               Echocardiography is not only a diagnostic tool.  It also plays a pivotal role in structural heart disease intervention. Transcatheter aortic valve implantation, percutaneous mitral valve repair and left atrial appendage occlusion are some of the examples which can illustrate that intra-operative echocardiography is necessary to guide the procedure, to detect complication and to assess operative outcome.

5.               Echo Hong Kong is the first of this kind of conference dedicated to echocardiography in the Asia Pacific region.  Over the past twenty years, the conference has provided an excellent platform for sharing the best practices in clinical application of echocardiography technology through education, training and sharing of experience.  The theme of this year’s conference is “20 Years of Heart-felt Dedication”.  May I express my heartfelt appreciation to all healthcare professionals and academics who have made tremendous contribution in this field, as well as to all the speakers for sharing with us their invaluable insights and experiences.  I wish the conference every success and for our overseas delegates, a pleasant stay in Hong Kong.

6.               As the Secretary for Food and Health, to safeguard public health, provide quality medical services, ensure food safety and environmental hygiene will be top priorities on my health agenda.  My team and I will continue to work hard for the betterment of Hong Kong.  Thank you.