The First International Congress of the Academy was held on 26-29 November, 1998 at the Hong Kong Academy of Medicine Premises. This was attended by 944 delegates from Hong Kong and overseas.

It began with the Opening Ceremony in the Run Run Shaw Hall. Dr CH Leong (who, with Dr Richard YH Yu, co-chaired the Congress Organising Committee) introduced the on-stage guests, who included Chief Executive The Hon. Tung Chee-hwa; the Academy's Immediate Past President, Professor Sir David Todd; presidents of HKAM Colleges; and presidents and representatives of Colleges from other countries.

The President of the Academy, Dr David Fang, gave the Welcome Address and invited the Chief Executive to unveil the Commemorative Plaque to officially open the building. The 10-storey building of the Academy occupies 4,300 m2 of land area and 15,000 m2 of gross floor area containing a multipurpose grand hall, an auditorium a lecture theatre, 2 function rooms and 7 meeting rooms. Dr Fang then thanked the major donors of the building project, who were presented silver platters by Mr Tung.


The Halnan Lecture

The Inauguration was followed by the Halnan Lecture, given by Professor Sir David Todd, which was entitled "Medicine-Quo vadis". Professor Todd said that developments in medicine must take into account the needs of society, changes in demography, patient expectations, costs, and the importance of preventive medicine. He con-cluded that the Academy and Colleges must have a significant voice in decisions and policies affecting health and medical matters.

Scientific Programme

The three-day congress, entitled Challenges to Specialists in the 21st Century, provided some excellent presentations by distinguished international and local speakers. Among the programme were six plenary lectures, 22 multidisciplinary symposia, satellite symposia, paper presentations, and poster sessions. More than 70 overseas guests participated in the Scientific Programme as speakers or chairpersons of the plenary lectures and symposia. Presenting the plenary lectures were Dr D Fang, Prof LA Turnberg, Prof A Cohen, Prof AS Dixon, Prof M Stanton-Hicks, and Prof C Barker.

Challenges to the Specialist Beyond 2000

The President of the Academy, Dr David Fang, started the formal programme of the HKAM First International Congress on 27 November 1998, with a plenary lecture discuss-ing the challenges that specialists will face in the new millennium.

Reflecting the main theme of the three-day conference, the lecture focused on the advances in information, health, and biological sciences that will profoundly alter the way medicine will be practised beyond 2000.

Dr Fang spoke about the future directions of managed care and health care financing, and the role of specialists in helping governments formulate sustainable health policies. He forecast the future supply of doctors in Hong Kong to be 168 per 100 000 in the year 2010 (for an estimated population of 7.7 million), and stressed the need for post-internship in-service training and continuing medical education for all doctors.

The President also outlined how the role of alternative medicine, particularly Traditional Chinese Medicine, may be developed and monitored, and emphasised the importance of evidence-based medicine. Claiming that "in 20 years time, the way we practise medicine today may be so radically altered as to be unrecognisable", he identified rapidly developing areas such as information technology, telemedicine, and applications of gene therapy. We would need to rely on quality assurance, auditing, and appraisal, however, to ensure that standards of medical practice meet the expectations of scientists and the public. To conclude the plenary lecture, Dr Fang quoted the motto of the Academy: "Opus Medicinae Salus" (The physician leads the way to good health).

The programme for the 3 days included:

I Halnan Lecture
Medicine-Quo Vadis

2 Plenary Lecture
Challenges to the Specialist Beyond 2000

3 Symposium-Medical Ethics
4 Symposium-Congenital Anomalies
5 Papers-Medicine
6 Papers-Surgery 1
7 Symposium -Transplantation
8 Symposium -Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma
9 Papers-Anaesthesiolocy/Medicine/Pathology
10 Papers-Radiology/Surgery
11 Plenary Lecture
Evident-Based Medicine

12 Symposium -Continous Medical Education
13 Symposium -Application of Molecular Biology in Medicine
14 Papers-Orthopaedics and Traumatology
15 Symposium-Substance Abuse
16 Papers-Young Investigator's Awards
17 Symposium -Managed Care
18 Papers-Obstetrics and Gynaecology
19 Plenary Lecture
Survival of the Generalist in a Specialist World

20 Symposium-Medical Education and Training
21 Symposium-Trauma
22 Papers-Pediatrics
23 Symposium Hepatocellular Carcinoma
24 Symposium-The Application of Laser
25 Papers-Sugery 2
26 Plenary Lecture
The Quest for Transplantation Tolerance

27 Symposium-Maintaining Standards of Specialists
28 Symposium-Infectious Diseases
29 Symposium-Pain Management
30 Symposium--Sleep and Psychiatric Disorders
31 Plenary Lecture
The Training of Our Specialists into the Next
32 Symposium-Osteoporosis
33 Symposium-Minimally Invasive Procedures
34 Papers-Anaesthesiology Obstetrics and Gynaecology
35 Symposium-Breast Cancer
36 Symposium-Thalassaemia
37 Papers-Emergency Medicine/Medicine
38 Papers-Dentistry/Otorhinolarynoology
39 Papers-Surgery 3
40 Symposium-Diabetes Mellitus
41 Symposium-Traditional Chinese Medicine
42 Papers-Psychiatry/Family Medicine
43 Papers Video-Radiology Poster Session

Delegates -- Country of origin

Australia 36
Canada 20
China 19
Czechoslovakia 1
Denmark 1
Finland 1
France 1
Hong Kong 791
Ireland 3
Jordan 1
Korea 1
New Zealand 5
Philippines 2
Romania 1
Russia 5
Scotland 2
Singapore 8
South Africa 1
Taiwan 4
U.S.A. 14
United Kingdom 27

Attendence by Colleges:

Anaesthesiologists 33
Community Medicine 20
Dental Surgeons 30
Emergency Medicine 15
Family Physicians 13
O and G 49
Ophthalmologists 9
Orthopaedic Surgeons 37
Otorhinolaryngologists 37
Paediatricians 103
Pathologists 21
Physicians 21
Psychiatrists 21
Radiologists 43
Surgeons 83

Total 648

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