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The idea of introducing specialist registration in Hong Kong was first considered by the Medical Council in 1968. The Government continued to discuss the issue in the 70's and at the same time kept close reference to the United Kingdom's development on the same matter. 

In November 1979, the Hong Kong Medical Council formed the "Working Party on a specialist register for Hong Kong". The Final Report of the Working Party's recommendation was submitted to the Medical Council in July 1982. One of the conclusions reached was that the postgraduate training of doctors in Hong Kong at that time was inadequate, and it recommended, amongst other things,

"that the professional training of doctors intending to specialise be improved as a necessary step towards the setting up of a specialist register."

In August 1983, a joint ad-hoc committee was set up by the Hong Kong Medical Association and British Medical Association (HK Branch) to examine the recommendations of the Working Party on a specialist register for Hong Kong. The committee concluded that

"the legal requirements for training after registration in Hong Kong at that time were inadequate and that an establishment, and improvement of facilities, for specialist training were required as a step towards having a specialist register of Hong Kong. With regard to a specialist register, it was considered that the mere establishment of a specialist register in the absence of a governing body to implement and supervise postgraduate specialist training on a continuous basis would do little to improve the standard of medical care in Hong Kong."

 Halan Report  

In March 1985, the Medical Council decided that action should be taken to deal with, firstly, the design/organisation of suitable postgraduate training programmes for registered medical practitioners and secondly, to set up an accreditation body to grant recognition to such programmes. The creation of a specialist register would be considered later when the first two stages were completed.

In October 1986, the Hong Kong Government established a Working Party on Postgraduate Medical Education and Training under the chairmanship of Dr. Keith Halnan. The Report prepared by the Working Party, which was published in October 1988, recommended that:

"there should be a "Hong Kong Academy of Medicine" composed of Fellows accredited after completion of approved training and prescribed examinations."

Prof David ToddIn February 1990, the Hong Kong Government established the Hong Kong Academy of Medicine Preparatory Committee. Professor David Todd was appointed the Chairman of the Preparatory Committee. In December 1990, the Preparatory Committee resolved to establish an independent HKAM Foundation Fund for the purpose of raising funds for the formation and administration of the Academy of Medicine. The HKAM Foundation Fund was formally incorporated on 6 June 1991. Dr. David Fang was elected Chairman of the Executive Board of the Foundation Fund. The Foundation Fund organised several major fund raising events. These included a Cantonese opera sung in English entitled "The Fighting Bride" in March 1992 and a "Walk for the Academy - Walk for Health" in May 1992, and a Cantonese opera jointly organised with the Kwan Fong Charitable Foundation in January 1994.

The Preparatory Committee completed draft legislation and submitted it to the Executive and Legislative Councils in December 1991. The Hong Kong Academy of Medicine Ordinance (Cap. 419) was passed by the Legislative Council on 25 June 1992 and came into effect on 1 August 1992. The Government appointed an Interim Council, comprising six Officers (office-bearers) and the Presidents of 12 designated Academy Colleges.

Professor David Todd was appointed President of the Interim Council. After scrutinizing and approving the constitutions of the 12 designated Academy Colleges, namely Anaesthesiologists, Community Medicine, Dental Surgeons, General Practitioners (now called Family Physicians), Obstetricians & Gynaecologists, Orthopaedic Surgeons, Paediatricians, Pathologists, Physicians, Psychiatrists, Radiologists and Surgeons, the Interim Council formally admitted these 12 colleges as Academy Colleges. Two Faculties, namely Ophthalmologists and Otorhinolaryngologists, were also admitted under the College of Surgeons by the Interim Council.

Early in August 1992, the Government confirmed its financial commitment, in real monetary terms, of up to a maximum of $10m. In order to encourage fund-raising efforts by the Academy, this grant would be made in matching steps of $1m for every $10m raised. Additional government commitment included a free land grant for the building of the HKAM headquarters in Wong Chuk Hang, which was approved by the Executive Council on 22 February 1994. The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust approved a grant of $165 million in October 1993 for the Academy's building project. In September 1993, the temporary office of Academy and its Colleges was installed on the 8th, 9th and 10th floor of Multicentre Block A of the Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern Hospital with the assistance of the Hospital Authority.

HKAM Inaugural Ceremony 1993An Inaugural Ceremony, attended by over 167 overseas dignitaries, was held on 9 December 1993 during which over 2,000 Fellows were admitted according to the admission criteria set by the Interim Council. The Interim Period ended on 19 July 1994 when the first annual general meeting was held and Professor David Todd was elected the first President of the Academy. The two Vice-presidents elected were Dr. C.H. Leong (General affairs) and Professor Ho-Kei Ma (Education and Examination). Dr. David Fang became the Hon. secretary and Dr. Natalis Yuen the Hon. treasurer. Professor Joseph Lee took up the post of Editor for the Academy.

On 2 October 1995 two new Academy Colleges, namely the College of Ophthalmologists of Hong Kong and the Hong Kong College of Otorhinolaryngologists, were admitted at the 2nd Annual General Meeting. These two Colleges were formerly Academy Faculties under the College of Surgeons. On 16 January 1997 another new Academy College - The Hong Kong College of Emergency Medicine was admitted, increasing the total number of Academy Colleges to 15.

HKAM BuildingIn October 1996, construction of the Academy building at Wong Chuk Hang started. The Foundation Stone Laying Ceremony was held in May 1997. An occupation permit was obtained in June 1998 and the Academy moved into the new building in October 1998. The 10-storey building occupies 4,300 m2 of land area and 15,000 m2 of gross floor area. Named after the Hong Kong Jockey Club, the Hong Kong Academy of Medicine Jockey Club Building contained a multipurpose grand hall, an auditorium a lecture theatre, 2 function rooms, and 7 meeting rooms. High-tech computer trunking and audio-visual equipment were installed for the medical training and conferences. Video conferencing facilities were available in the Auditorium. There are also 13 examination rooms for College examinations. The building was officially opened by the Honourable Mr. Tung Chee Hwa, Chief Executive, Hong Kong SAR on 26 November 1998, at the Academy's 3-day First International Congress, which was well attended by 944 participants.

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