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Message from President

Dear all Fellows and Members of HKCP,

It has been my great honor to take up as the President of the Hong Kong College of Physicians in October 2016 from Dr Patrick Li. The College and myself express our sincere thanks to Dr Patrick Li as well as the preceding 4 other Presidents: Prof Sir David Todd, Prof TK Chan, Prof Richard Yu and Prof KN Lai who have set the College to this high level on its 30th birthday.

The College was inaugurated in 1986 and this year celebrates its 30th anniversary. On October 15 and 16, 2016, the College 30th Anniversary celebration has the honor of attendances from the Presidents and representatives of overseas Colleges of Physicians : London College, Edinburgh College, Australasian College and Malaysian Academy of Medicine to come to celebrate with us. We published the special issue of Synapse commemorating this 30th Anniversary with all the Specialties highlighting their development and forward looking perspectives.

At thirty, one stand firm and be independent (三十而立). Our College has really grown stronger and stronger, following the leadership of my predecessors and even more importantly from the support from all of you. We are now the biggest College within the Hong Kong Academy of Medicine, having 35 Honorary Fellows, 1757 Fellows, 290 members and 542 trainees. Of the 1757 College Fellows, 1668 are also Fellows of the Academy. We constitute 22% of all 7447 Academy Fellows as of 2 August 2016. In these 30 years, our College, through the efforts and dedications of our various Standing Committees, our Specialty and Basic Physician Boards, as well as many of our Fellows who have supported our training programmes in different capacities, has trained up a big number of specialists in 18 different specialties within Medicine. The College will continue to serve our function as the statutory organisation responsible for overseeing physician training and setting the standard of internal medicine practice. Our College will carry on to work closely with Hospital Authority, the two University medical schools on the training of our physicians, both before and after they have obtained the specialist status.

At the same time, the College has to evolve with time.

The healthcare of Hong Kong has faced more and more challenges: Ageing population and increasing comorbidities. Hong Kong women and men enjoy world’s longest life expectancy. In 2016, the average lifespan for women in Hong Kong is 87.3 years, and local men on average can expect to live to 81.2. In 2015, the top 10 diseases leading to death globally are: Ischaemic heart disease, Cerebrovascular disease, Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, Lower respiratory infections, Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, Tracheal, bronchus, and lung cancer, Diabetes mellitus, Road injuries, Diarrhoeal diseases and Chronic kidney disease. One can quickly recognize that apart from road injuries, the other 9 out of the top 10 causes leading to death globally are managed by physicians at large. So the ageing populations together with the communicable and non-communicable diseases give a big challenge in the workload to our physicians in the daily care of both inpatients and outpatients. Our College will continue to be advocacy for a reasonable and sustainable increase in workforce in physicians when discussing with the Hospital Authority, Department of Health and the Bureau. We will be monitoring and assessing the gaps. The ability for physicians to attract new blood is vital and crucial for the development of General Medicine and the many Specialties in order to have physicians with both excellent quality and in good quantity for the present and the future.

With the growing need for better development of the College in the near future, the input from our younger generation physicians is crucial. I have started up a Young Fellows Committee and the Committee will involve young fellows who have become specialists just recently together with HPT and BPT. We will have young fellow representatives in almost all of our Standing Committees as well as all the Specialty and Basic Physician Boards. The College would like to hear more of their voices and we will have a Young Fellows Column in our Synapse and our Website for better communication. We hope the young fellows will be more involved in our College affairs so that they will reflect more views and suggestions from our next generation leaders to the College.

I will organize a Retreat for the College in the coming months involving all the Council members as well as Specialty Board Chairpersons. The College would like to make use of this to plan strategies for the next 3-5 years. Some possible areas of focus will be to discuss on how to sustain a work force of physicians, feasibility of development of clinical practice guidelines, how to support and cultivate more research, College led theme based conferences, College’s stand on public health issues related to our specialty and public image enhancement of the College.

Once again, the College likes to hear your suggestions and comments to us. Please feel free to contact myself and any of the Council members to reflect your views. Your support is vital for the further development of the College and also of Medicine in Hong Kong.

Best wishes,
Prof Philip K. T. Li
Hong Kong College of Physicians