Uniform policies focus of Bay Area integration

Policymaking that applies to all cities in the Greater Bay Area is a focus point of regional development, but not an easy one to undertake. This much was made clear by key GBA officials this week.

Cao Dahua, executive deputy director-general of the Office of the Leading Group on Construction of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, said during a group media interview on Monday that local governments will first research key areas for policymaking such as innovation and technology, customs clearance, business environment and people’s livelihoods. One Country, Two Systems will be respected, he added.

Patrick Nip Tak-kuen, Hong Kong’s secretary for constitutional and mainland affairs, said that healthcare will be one of the top areas that require cross-boundary policy breakthroughs as the provision of top quality healthcare service is vital for attracting talented workers to live and work in the Bay Area.

He added that the Hong Kong government will put in greater efforts to coordinate the institutional differences in healthcare between Hong Kong and the mainland, so that funds, drugs and medical equipment in Hong Kong can be used in clinics and hospitals in Guangdong.

This includes research on how to enable Hong Kong residents to use their elderly healthcare vouchers in the Bay Area, Nip noted.

The Hong Kong government will also facilitate more training for medical professionals in the Bay Area, through cooperation with medical schools in Guangdong, he said.

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