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40th Anniversary Celebration
About HKCFP > President’s Message

September 2017

Last weekend we witnessed a most successful event, HKCFP 40th Anniversary Conference, to celebrate the milestone of one of the oldest medical academic Colleges in Hong Kong. We were at the mercy of typhoon Marwa which fortunately approached nowhere near to Hong Kong.

The theme “From Seedling to Forest- Ever Enriching Primary Care” truly reflected the College’s humble beginning and flourishing into a 40 year old evergreen tree through the sheer determination and selfless contribution of generations of Family Doctors. As I sat on top of the canopy, I could admire and celebrate the success of all my predecessors and numerous unsung heroes of this College. 

There was a recorded attendance of over 700 doctors, nurses and allied professional over the 2-day event. The programme was like a forest with different ecologies enriching a primary care system. We welcomed our guest of honour, Prof. Amanda Howe, President of the World Organisation of Family Doctors (WONCA). She made a whirlwind visit to Hong Kong. Soon after her touch down, she visited the Family Medicine Unit, HKU at Apleichau, trainees at a private clinic and Kwun Tong Community Health Centre.


She is always an inspiration to young doctors and I am sure the trainees will treasure the moment with her. Prof. Howe’s plenary lecture on “Future Developments in Medical Education” reiterated the mature role of Family Medicine within a health system is the presence of academic departments in medical schools. Many Family Doctors find stimulating career opportunities and extended roles in medical education, both within university and service settings. Our two universities have their FM departments and are maturing with substantial curriculum and activity in undergraduate and postgraduate teaching which will serve the local community and its pressing healthcare needs.

Our own breed, Prof. Donald Li, President Elect, WONCA talked on “Family Medicine Beyond 40 Years”. He rightly pointed out the future of Family Medicine is determined by default, decree and design. Treatment of minor ailments is no longer the bulk workload of Family Doctors. Patients look for advice, directions, opinions, counselling, disease management, mental health etc. There is recognition that the best assurance for quality primary care is through the practice of Family Medicine. Vocational training, best to equip our future generation of Family Physicians is of paramount importance.

Prof. Yu Xiaosong, Chairman, The Society of General Practice, Chinese Medical Association shared his study on the IntegratedHealth Management Service Model based on continuous care of general practitioners. Strengthening the general practitioners’ ability to provide patient-centred, individualized, continuous, holistic and active health management service will show improvement in all the main health outcome indicators including quality of life and level of health literacy. This is a very important message in the development of primary care system in China.
Prof. Joseph Sung, our hero enlightened us on his favourite topic, SARS. To hear he said “Family Doctors know everything, do everything and see patients before too late” was heartening! Prof. Cindy Lam chaired the discussion forum on postgraduate vocational training in Family Medicine with panel speakers from UK, Australia, Canada, China and Hong Kong. Hong Kong has the longest vocational training of 6 years and Canada is the shortest consisting of 2 years only with development of special interest. Most interestingly, each region has its own training requirement which suits the need of its primary care system. The global trend is heading towards longer vocational training!

What everyone was eagerly waiting for was the HKCFP 40th Anniversary Highlights by Dr. Stephen Foo. Dr. Foo is our pioneer in Family Medicine and has served the College since Day One. He sowed the seed, let it germinate, provided with the best nutrient and is still looking after this forest daily! He always has the utmost respect from every member of this College and no wonder everyone of us dearly called him “Ah Yeh”! He told us the history of Family Medicine from a global view, development of Family Medicine in Hong Kong and formation of the College. Only he knew the details of the College inauguration, our local fellowship examination, training, WONCA involvement. There were lots of photographs to arouse our nostalgic sentiment with the best commentary from Dr. Foo. I had not blinked my eyes once.

I was pleased to see animal-assisted therapy, elderly care, mental health, work injury management all accommodated under one roof. 4 plenary lectures, 3 forums, 3 seminars, 4 workshops. 6 sessions and a half-day event conducted in Putonghua were all successfully run. I am still receiving commendation from guests and attendees. We did not engage any private event organizer and this summed up the tremendous hard work of the organizing committee headed by Dr. Lorna Ng and Prof. William Wong and our College Secretariat. They had made this “Ruby” Anniversary Conference possible, successful and memorable.

Dr. Angus M W CHAN