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Hong Kong Shift

Cultural Paradigm

‘Traditional Culture,’ by Carmen Kong [flickr.com/bitterlysweet]. License https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/

Keeping abreast of global trends in Chinese medicine is informative. For one realizes that the adoption of medical currents is not only influenced by scientific query but also culture.

The cultural influence is quite evident in Hong Kong. One may assume that Chinese medicine has enjoyed continuous acceptance there, since it is technically part of China. However, it is a “Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China,” and was under British rule for 156 years until 1997. The 20th century geopolitical climate of Hong Kong was likely responsible for its still preferential treatment of Western medicine.

Though, since the transfer back to Chinese governance, there has been greater momentum towards the use of Chinese medicine. It is becoming an emergent shift, as the ageing population increasingly presents with chronic diseases that Western medicine has had difficulty in managing.

The crest of this shifting tide is evident in Hong Kong Baptist University’s endeavor to open the city’s first Chinese medicine hospital.

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