By Ralph Novotney
“Young people today need to look at the bigger picture. Part of that picture is responsible business,” says Dr. Manson Fok.
The founding Dean of Faculty of Medicine at the Macau University of Sciences and Technology speaks well with wisdom on this subject—not just as as a doctor, but as a leading business figure. He is a board member of NASDAQ-listed Athenex and founding chairman of Virtus Medical Clinic in Hong Kong.
Dr. Fok continues, “I believe that building a society with business is a key strategy, especially in Macau which is mainly only about gaming. When I started to do medical work here after Hong Kong and mainland China, many people thought I was doing a wrong investment. But I have roots from my father in Macau and I believe in the city.”
Dr. Fok notes, “When you look at the laws of Macau for medicine, it is wider than China for what can be done with some of the newer advances, and it is very different than Hong Kong. Although Macau did not have a legacy of a medical school, there are a lot of small clinics and pharmacies, plus the strong government hospital with both Portuguese and Chinese expertise. Chinese mainland people also go to these small clinics and this business does help sustain the medical community overall in the elective area without harming general practitioner demands. If you look at medical tourism in certain places, it can damage the healthcare system. In Macau we have been able to build off this momentum successfully. This is what I saw for years and encouraged my colleagues to look at and help finance.”
He continues, “I don’t need to mention any place in specific, but when you look around the world a lot of young people feel disenfranchised. They don’t feel that business cares about them. This is unfortunate. There are good business leaders and we need to invest to train the young. They need capital and mentors to guide their dreams, particularly in biotechnology and computer sciences. These areas have strong opportunities and can be harnessed for greater ethical and humanitarian purposes. I am encouraging my younger executives and scientists to look into these areas for medicine and cancer research.”
He continues, “If you look at the global trends of health in the next 10 to 15 years, we will see climate change and ecological shifts create more zoonotic transmitted diseases with pandemic potential. We must start planning for these with community mobile medicine and greater engagement with small clinics and business stakeholders. Typically this area has been handled by NGOs and government health bureaus, but we can also sustain these entities by empowering young entrepreneurs too with the tools they can use for education, treatment, and prevention.”
Dr. Fok adds, “Here in Macau and the Greater Bay Area we have a lot of innovation and global link ups, especially with the Portuguese speaking countries, but also to Europe, Africa, Oceania, and the Americas. We are like Germany or South Korea in the Greater Bay in terms of our size and dynamism. We can get young entrepreneurs to engage bigger problems of health information with new apps, new drugs, new biotechnology solutions, and dare I say new hope. There is an entire new generation of minds that need to be reached. A lot will be poisoned, I fear, by demagogues on social media, unless responsible adults get in there and lead by example. Today we have not only this goal in mind but an urgency like never before to build with community saving business ideas and innovation. Talk alone cannot do it. All stakeholders need to come together to paint this brighter today and tomorrow.”