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About HKCFP > President’s Message

October 2020

The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) has recently issued another appeal to doctors enlisting their help to collect specimens for COVID-19 testing from symptomatic patients (Please refer to the WEBSITE). As reported in our College’s recent study on family doctors’ preparedness in serving the public during the COVID-19 pandemic, the family doctors in Hong Kong from both private and public sectors were willing and prepared to provide first contact clinical service to the community during the crisis. As we are deeply rooted in the community, we have the advantage of knowing our patients well and being close to what is going on in our localities. We should continue to make full use of this edge to help the society fight the virus. Therefore, please keep up with your great contributions in collecting specimens for COVID-19 testing for symptomatic people in the community.

At the conclusion of the 14-day Universal Community Testing Programme (UCTP) for COVID-19 on 14 September 2020, over 1.78 million people were tested. According to reports, 42 new COVID-19 infections were identified through the programme. Five out of the 42 cases were identified through contact tracing and five more who had not joined the programme were identified through contact tracing. 32 out of the 42 new cases were tested positive for COVID-19 and 13 among them were asymptomatic. 20 out of the 32 cases were local cases with unknown sources of infection. 8 recovered patients had been screened and found still carrying traces of the coronavirus. The programme helped in the early isolation of confirmed cases and quarantine of their close contacts.

Following the UCTP, the government decided to further increase the surveillance of the community’s COVID-19 situation by expanding the “Enhanced Laboratory Surveillance (ELS) Programme” Tier 7-H. The number of General Outpatient Clinics (GOPCs) assisting distribution of specimen collection packs to people who perceive themselves to have higher risk of exposure and experience mild discomfort were increased from 22 to 46. Colleagues’ support and contributions to the programme are highly appreciated.

Our first ever digital Hong Kong Primary Care Conference (HKPCC) was successfully held from 11 - 13 September 2020. I was most delighted to meet all the new and familiar faces through the online platform. Hope you have enjoyed the remarkable Conference like I have. I was most honoured to join Professor Donald K. T. Li and Professor David S. C. Hui to share and discuss on issues related to COVID-19 at the discussion forum moderated by Dr. Alvin Chan. I have indeed learnt a lot from our panel of experts.

Being connected for the exchange of views and knowledge enables us to be inspired, encouraged and motivated to continue enhancing our services for people in the community. Here comes another great opportunity in November 2020, the Annual Conference of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) - GP20. The Conference is going to be run online during 16 – 28 November 2020. A range of digital session including live sessions and a selection of on-demand content would be developed for health professionals and experts all over the world to be engaged from the comfort and convenience of your self-chosen learning environment. Please do consider to register for this forthcoming digital conference organised by the RACGP.

As the crisp autumn days have arrived, it is a good time to get prepared for the winter influenza season. The public has heightened awareness of personal and environmental hygiene because of COVID-19. Vaccination has been proven in population studies to be a safe and effective way in preventing influenza and its complications. The government continues to provide seasonal influenza vaccinations (SIV) and pneumococcal vaccinations (PV) to eligible Hong Kong people this year. The Government Vaccination Programme (GVP) 2020/21 would be launched on 22 October 2020. Influenza viruses and the coronavirus causing COVID-19 will possibly have a surge in the coming winter influenza season. As mentioned by experts, a person could be seriously ill when challenged by both viruses at the same time. Getting an influenza vaccine for personal protection is therefore very important. So, as family doctors, we should keep up our good work in providing more support to the GVP in the community!

Further to holding our written examinations of our Fellowship Examination in August, the clinical part will take place on the first day of November. Many thanks again to the continuing support by the RACGP and our own Board of Conjoint Examination. I would like to wish all the candidates the best of luck and every success in the forthcoming clinical examination!

Please keep well and stay safe!

Dr. David V K CHAO
President


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