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Macau to get ‘academy of medicine’

Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture Alexis Tam Chon Weng said in the legislature’s hemicycle Thursday that the government will establish an official institution for the training of local medical specialists in the near future.

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Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture Alexis Tam Chon Weng said in the legislature’s hemicycle Thursday that the government will establish an official institution for the training of local medical specialists in the near future.

Tam made the remarks on the first day of a two-day Q&A session about his portfolio’s policy guidelines for next year.

Two years ago, the government said it would study the feasibility of establishing such an institution.

Tam said the government had completed all the preparatory work on the establishment of the – tentatively called – Macau Academy of Medicine, adding that it could be set up in the near future.

According to Tam, the academy will be tasked with coordinating and promoting the recognition of medical specialists’ professional qualifications, as well as their professional development and on-the-job training. He said that the academy would aim to improve the professionalism of local medical personnel.

Tam also said the government would continue recruiting more medical personnel in order to improve its various medical services.

According to previous news reports, the academy will be run by the Health Bureau (SSM).

Meanwhile, during the Q&A session, several lawmakers questioned the slow construction progress of the public hospital project in Cotai, officially known as Cotai Healthcare Complex.

The government has said that it does not have a schedule for when the project will be completed, nor does it have a total budget for the project.

According to the Macau Post Daily, the Cotai hospital project was announced in 2010. Secretary for Transport and Public Works Raimundo do Rosario told reporters last year he was “sure” that the construction of the project will not be completed by 2019 as previously planned by the government.

In reply to the lawmakers, Tam acknowledged that the Cotai hospital project will not be completed in 2019. He also said that the government’s public medical institutions would extend their opening hours to meet residents’ rising need for medical services.

Tam said that residents were receiving good medical services. “Everyone knows that,” he said.

Tam said, “If our medical services had been poor, the average lifespan of residents would not be among the top in the world.”

According to the Statistics and Census Bureau (DSEC), the average life expectancy of local males stood at 80.3 years and for females at 86.4 years in the 2013-2016 survey period.

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