Preventive Medicine In Hong Kong

<p style="text-align: justify;">Hong Kong is a world leader in preventive medicine thanks to its progressive public health policies and advanced healthcare infrastructure. From regular check-ups to early disease diagnosis, Hong Kong has successfully reduced the prevalence of diseases and improved overall health outcomes.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">In this article, we will explore the different facets of preventive medicine in Hong Kong and how they are helping the city achieve better health outcomes.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p><h2 style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 14pt;">Background</span></h2><p style="text-align: justify;">Preventive medicine has always been an integral part of medical practice. In Hong Kong, preventive medicine is also gaining importance as the population ages and chronic diseases become more prevalent.<br />Prevention is always better than cure, and this is especially true for chronic diseases.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">Preventive medicine aims to help people live healthier lives by reducing their risk of developing chronic diseases. The scope of preventive medicine includes health promotion, disease prevention, early diagnosis and treatment, rehabilitation, etc.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p><h2 style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 14pt;">Scope of Preventive Medicine</span></h2><p style="text-align: justify;">Preventive medicine covers various activities, from vaccination programmes to public education on healthy lifestyle choices and early cancer detection.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">The scope of preventive medicine is vast; its purpose is to foster good health and stave off disease. Examples of associated interventions include:</p><ul style="text-align: justify;"><li>Vaccination programmes</li><li>Fall and frailty prevention in senior citizens</li><li>Screening during pregnancy and for newborns, etc.</li></ul><p style="text-align: justify;">Primary prevention of cardiovascular or cerebrovascular events involves detecting and treating obesity, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, or diabetes mellitus early on. This can help reduce the likelihood of major potentially fatal outcomes, including strokes and heart attacks, simultaneously reducing healthcare costs and public health risks.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">Cancer screenings can occur in the form of colorectal cancer screenings for both genders, mammograms and pap smears for women as well as investigations to detect lung cancer in selected populations such as smokers, etc.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p><h2 style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 14pt;">Future of Preventive Medicine</span></h2><p style="text-align: justify;">The future of preventive medicine looks bright. The public and private healthcare sectors are committed to promoting healthy living and disease prevention, and many initiatives are underway to achieve this.<br />There is also a growing focus on primary care, emphasizing early detection and management of chronic diseases.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">The government is investing in new primary care facilities and training more family doctors.&nbsp;<br />In addition, there are plans to develop community health centres to provide comprehensive primary care services.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">The growth of preventive medicine is also driven by technological advances (for example, M3CRC, a new generation non-invasive colorectal cancer detection tool), telemedicine, and personalized medicine.<br />All these initiatives will help improve the population's health and reduce the burden of disease in Hong Kong.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 10pt;"><em>This article was contributed by our expert Victor Lo</em></span></p><p style="text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p><h3 style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 18pt;">Frequently Asked Questions Answered by Victor Lo</span></h3><h3 style="text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</h3><h2 style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt;">1. What are the major trends in Preventive Medicine today?</span></h2><ul style="text-align: justify;"><li>Technological advances are making preventive medicine more non-invasive and cost-effective</li><li>Telemedicine is playing a big role in making preventive care more accessible to people</li><li>Personalized medicine allows people to receive care tailored to their individual needs, including genetic tests for the possibility of cancer in specific target groups.</li></ul><p style="text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p><h2 style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt;">2. What are the public health policies that promote preventive medicine?</span></h2><p style="text-align: justify;">Some examples include:</p><ul style="text-align: justify;"><li>Colorectal cancer screening program</li><li>District health centre, for cardiovascular risk factors, including hypertension, diabetes, and lipid disorders</li></ul><p style="text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p><h2 style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt;">3. Suggest some ways by which the healthcare structure can be improved?</span></h2><ul style="text-align: justify;"><li>Collaboration between public and private health sectors to relieve the burden on the public healthcare sector</li><li>Promoting triage in family medicine clinics to reduce waiting time in a specialist centre</li><li>Promotion of preventive medicine to reduce disease morbidity and mortality</li></ul><p style="text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p><h2 style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt;">4. What is the scope of growth of personalized medicine?</span></h2><p style="text-align: justify;">Advances in molecular genetics could offer risk factor triage for chronic diseases and cancer in the specific patient group, e.g., Family members of patients with multiple early-onset or rare malignancies.&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p>
KR Expert - Victor Lo

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