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Story of Hong Kong

20 個相關集數
From a little fish village to an international financial centre, Hong Kong has experienced a lot of changes. We would like to invite you to look back to the history of Hong Kong, the story of our home.
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《The History of Hong Kong III》 Public Governance and Medicare in Hong Kong

2016-03-07

《The History of Hong Kong III》 Public Governance and Medicare in Hong Kong

2016-03-07
When the city of Hong Kong was just established, the public environment was deplorable. At first, the death toll among the British army was high as healthcare services were only provided by floating clinics. Although there were Hospital of the Medical Missionary Society and Seaman’s Hospital in 1843, but they mainly served the westerners. In 1848, the Government Civic Hospital, the first government hospital was established. However, as the Chinese had little faith in western medicine, combined with high medical fees and communication problem, only a few Chinese sought medical consultation. Most Chinese treated their illnesses with Chinese medicine methods.

The early colonial government used Hong Kong as a trade hub and it embraced the style of governance which observed the policy of non-interference towards the Chinese as long as there was no impediment to governance. As a result, it did not provide any western medical services to the Chinese proactively. The Government’s policy towards the Chinese and governance approach only changed after the plague. The Government realised after the plague, that the public healthcare services, especially the western medical services, was not sufficient to meet the need at the time. In order to soften the Chinese resistance towards western medicine, the Government began to support the training of Chinese doctors, nurses and midwives. and cooperated with other organisations to set up pharmacies in different districts, so as to encourage the Chinese acceptance of western medicine.

On the other hand, some upper-class Chinese who had received western education also helped promote western medicine, and Ho Kai was the representative figure among them. Through his promotion, the Alice Memorial Hospital was established and he also took forward the establishment of the Hong Kong College of Medicine with a view to providing healthcare services and training Chinese doctors for Hong Kong. Despite this, western medicine was still generally unacceptable among the Chinese until the emergence of the Obstetric Department. Before the 20th century, most Chinese women in Hong Kong adopted the traditional ways of delivery, and the survival rate of new-born babies was extremely low due to lack of antenatal check-up and hygienic problems. Only one third of the babies could survive. The Government then pushed forward western midwifery with great efforts and trained local women to become midwives, to soften the resistance of women towards western midwifery. The Chinese women began to accept western midwifery and hence boosted the survival rate of new-born babies and promoted Chinese acceptance of western medicine as well as facilitated the development of western medicine in Hong Kong.
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