Dear distinguished guests, TCM organization representatives, TCM colleagues, a very good evening!
Tonight is the 42nd Inauguration Ceremony of the SCPA, and we are very honoured to have the Senior Parliamentary Secretary for the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr Sam Tan Chin Siong, presiding over the ceremony, as well as the attendance of so many distinguished guests at this inaugural dinner. On behalf of the Association, I would like to extend my deepest gratitude and appreciation to all of you.
In the past 64 years, the SCPA has entered into a new era today, after going through a number of passages and inheriting the foundation laid by our predecessors, as well as the hard work of the previous members. The SCPA has kept on growing and expanding, even though no specific achievement shall be mentioned here. However, the SCPA has taken up the responsibility of uniting fellow TCM colleagues, rallying the TCM community and taking up the TCM cause, in order to contribute to society and nation. In the recent years of the development of the SCPA, it has been receiving the support and praise of Singapore’s leaders and members of the public. This achievement and the efforts of the SCPA are inseparable.
As times continue to change, and people and organizations evolve, nothing remains the same. Many of the SCPA leaders and members have retired or passed away, hence it is necessary to attract young members into the TCM profession and the SCPA activities. Hence I would like to take this opportunity to strengthen and improve the impression that young people have of TCM practitioners and raise awareness of the Chinese culture, bringing a new breath of fresh air to TCM.
I am deeply grateful and honoured to be re-elected as the preseident. I will hold deep respect and gratitude towards our forebears and my peers, and as Ireflect onthe deficiencies of the past two years, I will exercise caution as I work together with the Board to plan and execute its future direction. We will need the support of fellow organisations and drug suppliers and manufacturers, and with our concerted efforts, we will be able to take TCM in Singapore to the next level!
It is common knowledge that with the exception of China, Singapore is the only other ASEAN country that TCM is legislated by the government. Since 2004, all TCM practitioners who are not registered with the Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners Board (TCMPB) are not allowed to practice TCM legally in Singapore.
In the 2008 annual report published by the Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners Board, Singapore has 2167 registered TCM practitioners and 206 registered acupuncturists. Singaporeans are not unfamiliar with TCM and a lot of them visit TCM physicians and take TCM medicines. The Singapore Ministry of Health’s 2004 Nationwide survey showed that more than 53% of Singaporeans have gone to a TCM physician for treatment.
This study has shown that Singaporeans are increasingly receptive to TCM, and with increased scientific research and improved treatment efficacies; TCM will be able to contribute even more to Singapore. To be honest, the TCM community has already expanded and has moved from the confines of charitable clinics and private clinics to the government and private hospitals in Singapore, an encouraging development.
The enrollment numbers of the Singapore College of Traditional Chinese Medicine (a subsidiary of the SCPA), have been: 77new studentsin 2007, 118 new studentsin 2008, 207 new studentsinin 2009and most recentlyin 2010,244new studentsattendingcourses in Traditional Chinese medicine. Thedatahas shown thatmore and more peopletoattaching greater importance to theimprovementthe quality ofpublic health, and shown greater interest in the study of the people-oriented TCM and carrying out TCM healthcare work. The patient numbers of the Chung Hwa Medical Institution (also a subsidiary of the SCPA) was 312,445 in 2006, 330,420 in 2007, 326,181 in 2008, and 329,555 in 2009, with a yearly increase.
At present, the Singapore College of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Chung Hwa Medical Institution need to take another step forward, as it is evident that they are running out of space to expand. We hope to be able to buy a plot of land to rebuild and expand the Singapore College of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Chung Hwa Medical Institution, and if the situation permits, the SCPA also hopes to develop the College into a TCM University, and develop the Medical Institution into a fully equipped TCM hospital, bringing TCM to its fullest potential. This way, an integrated TCM treatment centre, edcuation centre and research centre can be created, expanding TCM in Singapore, as well as uniting the TCM community to a common and mutually beneficial cause.
Tonight, I would once again like to express my gratitude to the Senior Parliamentary Secretary for the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr Sam Tan Chin Siong, fortaking the time out of his busy schedule to be the presiding officer of the 42nd inauguration ceremony, making this event a success and adding to the honour of the event.
Finally, I would like to thank Mr Sam Tan Chin Siong and every single guest tonight. Thank you everyone!
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