Professor Lee’s account of the developments in public health in Hong Kong traces the transitional changes from a barren island to global fi nancial centre. He emphasizes the need to understand, and act on, one of the underlying themes that emerge from the contributions to this book, that of the interrelationship between poverty and health. The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), a global strategy to eliminate world poverty, demonstrate the shared consensus of the unacceptability of poverty and disadvantage, and the need to achieve equity and greater opportunity for the 20.6 per cent of the world’s population still living on less than US$1.25 a day. Improving public health is a key component of the MDGs – both directly, in the aspirations to improve child health and maternal health and combat HIV/ AIDS, and also indirectly through strategies for raising educational standards, promoting gender equality and seeking environmental sustainability.