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40th Anniversary Celebration
About HKCFP > President’s Message

June 2018

The 8th Hong Kong Primary Care Conference has become a traditional annual event which brings together family physicians, nurses and other allied professionals to share our experience and exchange ideas. The Organizing Committee has chosen “Family Physicians-Nexus of the New Era of Primary Care” as the theme. This will happen on 23rd and 24th June. This is followed immediately by the 31st Fellowship Conferment and Diploma Presentation 2018. Don’t miss this wonderful Conference and our Conferment ceremony!


I am very proud of the College involvement in one of the biggest medical conferences in Hong Kong- 2018 Hospital Authority Convention. Six of the Council members had spoken at the Convention on 8th May 2018. The morning session focused on “The role of Family Medicine in Chronic Disease Management”. My topic was “What the Family Physicians Do in Managing Patients with Chronic Diseases in the Community”. Control of these non-communicable diseases relies on primary, secondary, tertiary and even quaternary prevention. There is a gradual shift of chronic disease management from public to private sector since the introduction of General Outpatient Clinic Public-Private Partnership Programme by the Hospital Authority but the pace is slow. The importance of primary care is undeniable in Hong Kong.

However, less than 10% of local medical graduates have the opportunity to train in Family Medicine, well below the figure of developed healthcare systems in other countries. 

Dr. Ruby Lee’s talk was on “Disease Prevention in the Elders”. She reiterates “Family Physicians, being the first point of contact, are in a prime position in preventive care for the elders. This includes health promotion, risk assessment, disease detection, follow-up care after medical conditions of patients are stabilized and after discharge from hospital. We are also coordinators to advise and direct patients for necessary and appropriate multidisciplinary and specialist healthcare services.” 

Prof. Samuel Wong’s session is on “The role of Family Medicine in Chronic Disease Management: What can We Learn from Research Evidence”. Research has shown Hong Kong is bottom of the league in developed countries in having a regular doctor and support for self-management for patient who have a chronic condition. He summarized “Disease burden has changed but the health system has not caught up. Effective prevention and management of chronic conditions requires a shift of focus from hospital to community primary care with trained doctors who use the generalist approach in caring for people. Evidence shows that primary care led approaches result in better health outcomes with lower costs.” 

Dr. Jun Liang touched on “The role of Family Medicine in Chronic Disease Management: The Rising Importance to Healthcare”. Dr. Liang highlighted “Whole person care planning with stratification will be norm: We move away from merely passively treating individual episodes of illness to better anticipating patients’ needs by planning and managing long-term care in the community. Most importantly, family physicians will focus on patients with several chronic diseases as it is rapidly becoming the norm among those with chronic diseases who are more in need for holistic person-centred care.” 

Then in the Afternoon Symposium on Primary Care in Hong Kong, Prof. Cindy Lam highlighted this year is the 40th anniversary of the Alma-Ata Declaration on Primary Health Care by WHOUNICEF at the International Conference on Primary Health Care in 1978. She told us “Primary care in Hong Kong has come a long way since 1978 especially in the past decade. Local research has demonstrated primary care co-ordinated by family doctor achieved the best outcomes in promoting a healthy lifestyle, access to primary care, reduction in accident and emergency attendance and hospitalization, better patient enablement and more improvement in overall health condition. Quality primary care for all in Hong Kong should be our vision. To achieve this vision, we need to ensure everyone has a family doctor, every family doctor is enabled, empowered and engaged in providing best primary care, and primary care is adequately supported by the necessary multidisciplinary services and resources.” What a rightful statement! 

Finally Dr. David Chao lectured us on “What Has Hospital Authority Achieved in Primary Care?”. He mentioned “Over the past two decades, HA recruited a core team of Family Medicine Specialists who were also accredited FM clinical supervisors. Planning of HA’s Family Medicine training and related services were required following the formation of Central Coordinating Committee. In addition to setting up Family Medicine and Primary Health Care Departments in all clusters, regular engagement of internal and external stakeholders including cluster and hospital management, as well as various specialty colleges, was crucial to the successful establishment of FM training programme in HA.” We can see the results and have quality family physicians that come after a long way. 

Dr. Angus MW CHAN