Message from the President, C.H. Leong, December  2004

Speech at the Fellowship Conferment Ceremony of Hong Kong Academy of Medicine on 17 December 2004


Today is a great day for the Academy.  For we gather here to witness some 155 being admitted to the Fellowship, bringing our brotherhood - figure to over 4000.  To our new graduands let me extend the Academy’s congratulations and blessings.  You are now a formality away from being registered specialists in your relevant disciplines.  Yet with this honour comes the responsibility to serve the public in the spirit and dedication that this Academy so revered.  It is also a proud day for the Academy, as we just witness the conferment of the Honorary Fellowship of the Academy to two distinguish members of our professions.  They not only have contributed to the science, and practice of their respective expertise’s but have demonstrate their selfless commitment to promote medical education, to improve relationship between the town and the gown, to foster closer bondage between the health care professions and services between HK and the Motherland, and to serve this Academy in different capacities.  Whilst the honorary Fellowship is the highest honour this institution can bestow, yet by accepting the honourary Fellowship both Professor Huang and Professor Davis pays honour to the Academy.  My sincere thanks to them and my congratulations.  

      I like to offer a special thanks to Mr. Simon Ip, not only for the staunch support he has always given to this Academy but for his unfailing meticulous and rational legal advises he had offered to us, many times getting us out of troubled waters.  Needless to say Simon has been a friend of the whole dental and medical brotherhood, we will miss his wise counsel.  Thank you Simon.  

      4 years ago, when I look over the helm of this institution, the council and myself made some solid pledges to uphold the principles and objectives behind the formation of the Academy.  – to train specialist; to promote better brotherhood; and to advise the Government on areas where the Academy has expertise in and areas that will affects the health of the HK people.  

      Looking back at the last 4 years, I am proud to say that despite the onslaughts of economic downturn and SARS, the Academy has made progress in established directions.  

      We have taken a big step in promoting continuing medical education (CME) and continuous professional development (CPD).  Through the now matured Membership & Learning Management System (MLMS), CME programmes can be obtained online and CME points are electronically recorded in a well organised.  To enhance further the direction of postgraduate training, the Academy had engaged a Director of CME/CPD and will be expanding this further with a fully staffed CME/CPD office.  This not only streamlines CME/CPD for Fellows, advises trainees on their needs and coordinates their training programmes, but also provides support and directions to doctors and dentists in obtaining remedial training at the recommendation of the Medical Council.  

      The Academy Building is for Fellows, not just for conferences but also for self-learning and nurturing of brotherhood.  We have thus made full use of our building spaces to establish a warm and cosy lounge.  We have made provisions for private dining and open-air barbecue facilities for Fellows to entertain.  For those who are health conscious, a gymnasium with sauna facilities is available.  A library is now functional with terminal connections to eKG(Electronic Knowledge Gateway) of the Hospital Authority and the Medical Library of the University of Hong Kong .  

      It has always been my belief that the Academy must not only be internationally recognised but also produce global impact.  I believe we have already set our course.  We are a leading member of the IACAP (International Association of College and Academy Presidents).  Many international Colleges and Academies are using our MLMS as the porta for communications.  We are providing our CME programmes to Malaysia and Macau and we are invited to vet postgraduate programmes and be external examiners in overseas institutions.  

      We have done all these with just one motto – standards of medical and dental practice for the people of HK.  On this aspect we have stood firm and we will stand firm against any political interference, nor we will not be drawn into any political bickering.  In short this Academy has been and will be kept completely political neutral to gain the profession’s support and the community’s respect.  Yet it does not mean that we will not defend any denigration of professional standards or professional autonomy in setting standards, nor will we be stringent in providing advises to the Government and the public where this Academy and our 15 Colleges have expertise in.  I have no doubt this is the proper direction for the Academy to march into the future.  

      As of tonight I will be demitting office.  I would not have done justice to this grand institution if I do not pay tribute to the Council that have assisted me during the last 4 years.  Professor Joseph Sung our Vice President General Affairs has been most effective looking after all the things I do not want to do even during the days of SARS when he was in the eye of the storm.  Dr. Pamela Leung our Hon. Treasure is not only efficient with our finance but has been most forthcoming in ideas and suggestions for the different aspects of the Academy through her vast experience both in the academic world and in management.  If she could manage the HK East Cluster of the HA, the Academy is just a piece of cake.  Dr. Chu Kin Wah is not only irreplaceable as an Hon. Secretary, and we are happy that he will continue with the job, but also fantastic in leading the House Committee.  If you notice the marked improvement of this grand hall, it is his effort.  The Editor Dr. Yu Yuk Ling has not only managed to make our journal into a financial asset but to make the publication more lively and educational with CME programmes to boost.  Under his hands the Academy has now developed our own Academy Press to act as the publisher for many journals of our Colleges and specialty societies.  No, I have not forgotten the Vice President (Education and Exam).  Professor Grace Tang who has been the most forceful mover of our profession education programmes will take our the presidency of the Academy.  

      Fellows, Ladies and Gentlemen, I will be leaving office with a light heart knowing very well that this Academy is built on a stoic and solid foundation, and that we can and we will only move forward.  

      May I part by offering you the words of an inscription donated to the Academy recently by one of our Fellows, that I think is most appropriate to our professions and this institution, it reads :  

     We serve not because we expect recognition,

     We acquire knowledge not because we crave for glory.  



C.H. Leong