This book is not just a chronological history of the medical and health system of Hong Kong between 1842 and 1941. It also gives a critical and dispassionate analysis of the different cultural, social, and political factors which prompted the government and the public to consider change and implement reforms with far reaching effects. It also teaches us that racial discrimination, social inequity, and mutual distrust are always obstacles to social progress including healthcare.
──Rosie T. T. Young, The University of Hong Kong
Many books have been written about the history of medicine and public health in colonial Hong Kong, but here at last we have a comprehensive survey that will appeal to general readers and scholars alike. Moira Chan-Yeung’s tale of two cities contrasts the gradually improving sanitation and health standards enjoyed by Hong Kong’s
privileged European elite with the squalid conditions endured by the impoverished Chinese residents until the turning point of the bubonic plague epidemic in 1894. The story of rapid improvement in the lives of Hong Kong’s ever-expanding population in the early twentieth century is explained within the social, political and cultural context that made Hong Kong so distinctive as a British colony.
──Peter Cunich, The University of Hong Kong
Based on solid archival research, contextualized in the social, political, and cultural history of the period, physician-scientist-historian Moira Chan-Yeung has given us a fascinating, readable exploration of the evolution of Western medicine in Hong Kong, its diseases, institutions, colonial abuses, and scientific achievements. In this story, matters of gender, race, class, and autonomy repeatedly determined health or illness and influenced attempts to care.
──Jacalyn Duffin, Queen’s University
Dr. Moira M. W. Chan-Yeung is Professor Emeritus of Medicine at the University of British Columbia and Honorary Clinical Professor of Medicine at the University of Hong Kong. This book is her fourth work on history after her retirement.