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About HKCFP > President’s Message

February 2022

The pandemic has taken a sudden twist since the end of December last year as we face the double trouble of being challenged by two variants of concern simultaneously, namely the Omicron and Delta variants, in the fifth wave of COVID-19 infections. While the infections are surging in the community, there is an overall increased risk of being infected with the virus. Therefore, in order to better protect ourselves from catching the infection, everyone should remain highly vigilant and wear a mask which is well fitted in the proper manner, especially in congested conditions. Many health organisations share information on their recommendations on the correct use of mask, and Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is one of them. (Please Click) Correct use of mask is crucial to prevent getting and spreading COVID-19 infection.

Owing to Omicron’s high infectivity, we should avoid visiting crowded places, if at all possible. Social activities should be minimised and we should stay home as far as practicable. We also need to adhere to maintaining social distance under all circumstances. 

Another important aspect of preventing one from getting the infection is to avoid having meals together, e.g. with your colleagues at work. Chatting while eating and drinking is also a potential means of spreading and getting the infection, and hence to be avoided. Please put your mask back on immediately after finishing meals. Don’t forget to wash hands or use alcohol-based handrub solution for hand hygiene before and after. This applies to other activities with mask off. If one should get any COVID-19 symptoms, medical advice should be sought promptly and receive testing as soon as possible.

In addition, colleagues and friends who have already received two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine are highly recommended to receive the third dose of vaccine six months after the second dose to boost up an enhanced immune response and hence better protection against the variants of COVID-19 virus. People who have not yet received the second COVID-19 vaccine are highly encouraged to receive the vaccinations as soon as possible. Of course, those who are still pondering for the first jab should go ahead immediately, if no contraindications exist. At the time of writing, the age limits of children recommended to receive the COVID-19 vaccinations are being reviewed. Once, the new recommendations are confirmed by the experts working groups, we as family doctors are most suited to provide vaccinations effectively and efficiently to the new target age groups in the community.

In view of the challenging COVID-19 epidemic and a possible rapid surge in confirmed cases, the AsiaWorldExpo (AWE) has been reactivated to augment the capacities in managing COVID patients in the Hong Kong Infection Control Centre (HKICC) and the HA Infectious Disease Centre located at Princess Margaret Hospital. Family doctors as part of the clinical team continue to be rostered to provide support at the AWE and HKICC in looking after the COVID-19 patients. In fact, family doctors in the community are ready and most willing to contribute more towards fighting against the virus in the pandemic. We can help further in providing care to patients who have chronic diseases and use technologies like teleconsultation to support and monitor patients in need, thus relieving the already heavily burdened hospital services. Family doctors, especially private doctors, can join as Locum Doctors in Hospital Authority (HA) providing on-site medical support in the community facilities or in the hospital settings. Members from our College are encouraged to visit the website of Locum Office in HA at here for more information. Further enquiries can be made to HA’s Locum Office at 9788 8960 by WhatsApp or email to recruitment@ha.org.hk. Thank you and please keep up your excellent work.  

In order to minimise physical contacts and group gatherings, we have also reverted to using the online format to replace the face-to-face meetings for many of our College’s training and educational activities since the beginning of the year until further notice. Many thanks to all our Boards and Committees, our training coordinators, as well as the College secretariat for their prompt actions to facilitate the switch in a very timely manner.

In collaboration with the Primary Healthcare Office, an online seminar of Primary Healthcare in District Health Centre (DHC) Scheme would be held on 23 February 2022. The principles of primary healthcare and DHC concepts, roles and opportunities of family doctor in DHC, care coordinators in DHC and medical social collaborations would be discussed. Speakers would include Dr. Donald LI, Dr. LAM Ching Choi, Prof. Frances WONG, Dr. LAU Ho Lim and myself. The seminar targets DHC network service providers, DHC staff, and other healthcare professionals.

The HKCFP COVID-19 information hub has been updated in our College website with some additional links. Please feel free to browse the relevant COVID-19 information through the links provided at our webpage. (Please Click)

Wishing you and your family a very happy, prosperous, and healthy Lunar New Year of the Tiger!

Together we fight the virus! Please keep well and stay safe.


Dr. David V K CHAO
President

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