Message from the President, G. Tang, June 2006


Dear Fellows,

On 14 April 2006, the Academy entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Ministry of Health (MOH) regarding accreditation and training of specialists, with the ultimate purpose of establishing Specialist Registration in the Mainland. The Academy has been requested to assist because MOH finds that the specialist system that has been running in Hong Kong is sound, and that it is most likely to be adaptable to the situation in Mainland. The Academy is seen to be most capable to assist because there is common culture and similar thinking between our Fellows and colleagues in the Mainland.


This MOU has significant meaning to the Academy and its Fellows. It is a recognition by our motherland of the standard of specialist practice in Hong Kong . The term ‘academy’ has aroused substantial misunderstanding in the Mainland on the academic status of the Academy. ‘Academy’, termed as‘醫專’in Chinese, has a connotation of a lower level of medical practice and is used to refer to elementary level of medical practice in the Mainland. The Chinese translation is written in the Academy Ordinance and to change it would require substantial effort and procedure. To overcome this misunderstanding, the Academy has made a number of visits to government and academic bodies in the Mainland in 2005 to explain the functions of the Academy. Very importantly, we stressed that the Hong Kong Academy of Medicine is established by statute. We also refrained from using the abbreviated term‘醫專’, but used the full Chinese name of‘香港醫學專科學院’. I believe we have made ourselves properly known for our key position in postgraduate professional training and accreditation, and the signing of this MOU further enhances the academic and statutory status of the Academy. I must take this opportunity to thank all those College Presidents, Council Members, and Fellows who have spent their precious time in this dialogue. Without their conscientious input, this endeavour would not have been possible. Needless to say, the input from the Secretariat staff is crucial, and that from our consultant in China affairs Ms Isabella Wong is indeed invaluable.


Academy Fellows can now be rest assured that when you quote the fellowship of your Academy and College, it will be acknowledged as a true measure of your professional expertise and standard. I am certain that when you meet colleagues in the Mainland, they will understand your level of work and collaboration in whatever formats will be made easier. Hopefully, there will be comparability in specialist training and accreditation between Mainland and Hong Kong .


In order to enhance exchange, the Academy has established an Academy Training Fellowship with funding coming from the Academy Foundation Fund that was raised through donation. This scheme is meant to allow selected trainees from the Mainland to come to Hong Kong for a period of training, and for our young Fellows to go to Mainland to gain experience from renowned institutions. A Selection Committee has been set up for this purpose, and guidance will be taken from the Colleges. This interflow will definitely lead to greater opportunities of learning, exposure, and acquaintance.


Exchange may take the form of examinations. Some Colleges are considering the idea of allowing doctors from the Mainland to take the intermediate examination. This will be used as a kind of benchmarking. The Academy Ordinance stipulates that to be an Academy Fellow, the doctor must be able to register with the Hong Kong Medical Council. In other words, these intermediate examinations can only serve the purpose of testing standard.


The signing of the MOU with MOH is an important milestone in the development of the Academy. It is the beginning of a wide scope of academic exchanges and opportunities. Much work still needs to be done, but with the solidarity and zeal among Fellows of the Academy, I am confident that we will scale a new height in furthering the objects of the Academy.


May I take this opportunity to wish everyone a pleasant summer!



Yours sincerely,

Professor Grace Tang