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October 2017

Dear Fellows and colleagues,

It is with a heavy heart that I write this message to you today (2 October) as I have just returned from attending the Memorial Service of Professor Sir David Todd, the founding President of the Academy, who passed away on 16 August 2017. He was an inspiration to many of us in the profession and set in place the many core values that we live by at the Academy.

I would like to update you on a number of activities that have been done in memory of Prof Todd. A press release was jointly issued by the Academy, Hospital Authority, and the University of Hong Kong’s (HKU’s) Faculty of Medicine on 17 August. A Condolence Corner was set up earlier at the Library on 3/F of the Academy, making available a condolence book for those who wish to express condolences, share thoughts and reminiscences about Prof Todd. And today, a Memorial Service for Professor Todd, co-organised by HKU, Hong Kong Academy of Medicine, Hong Kong College of Physicians, and Diocesan Boys’ School was held at HKU’s Loke Yew Hall, with a full house of over 600 guests attending the solemn ceremony.

At the time of writing, an obituary has been arranged for publication in the international medical journal, The Lancet, besides our own Hong Kong Medical Journal and this issue of Focus. We are also working with the HKU counterparts on a memorial book to commemorate Sir David’s life, one that was so well-lived. The book is targeted to be distributed at this year’s David Todd Oration, which will be held in conjunction with our annual fellowship conferment on 15 December 2017.

The prestigious lecture, named after Sir David, was established in 1995 to recognise his tremendous contributions in setting up the Academy. This year’s Orator, the last one nominated by Sir David himself, is the Dean of HKU’s Faculty of Medicine, one of Sir David’s mentees. I am certain that Prof Gabriel Leung’s oration, entitled ‘Coming Full Circle’, will be enlightening for our newly admitted young Fellows, and inspire them to become future leaders.

Being the statutory body responsible for the training and standards of medical and dental specialists in Hong Kong, the Academy has a professional role and duty to look after the interest of the public and help the authorities in shaping the healthcare system of tomorrow. With this important mandate, members from the Academy play a unique and important role in the Medical Council of Hong Kong (MCHK). One of the foremost tasks of the Academy at the moment is to reach out and communicate with its Fellows, including the younger generation of doctors, who have voiced their views and concerns on the Medical Registration (Amendment) Bill, particularly the part concerning the Academy’s representation in the MCHK. The Academy has not put the issue aside during the Legislative Council’s summer recess. A consultation exercise via email was conducted for a period of around two months, aiming to collect Fellows’ views on the nomination and election mechanisms for the Academy’s two seats in the MCHK. The Academy Council also held a special meeting on 29 September to consider the opinions collected and discuss the latest development of the matter. We will continue our deliberation, plan for an open forum, and keep Fellows updated on the development related to the Bill.

2018 will mark the 25th anniversary of the Academy. An Organising Committee chaired by Dr Chorchiu Lau, our Vice-President (General Affairs), is working hard with various subcommittees and the Secretariat to plan a series of activities throughout the year that lead up to the Anniversary Congress to be held on 7-9 December 2018, with the theme ‘Beyond 25: New Paradigms in Healthcare’. Renowned speakers from around the world will be invited to share their expertise and knowledge. I would like to invite you all to participate in these events and activities to celebrate your Academy’s silver jubilee.

In ending, and for one more time, I would like to pay a special tribute to our founding President, who guided the Academy through its formative years. As the seventh president taking up the helm, I will draw strength from his beliefs when facing challenges, and honour his memory by continuing the work that was dear to his heart. Judging from the outpour of condolence messages we received, and the number of attendants at his memorial service, I believe he will be fondly remembered and greatly missed by many in the profession and the community. His spirit and visions will forever remain the foundation of this organisation.

Professor CS Lau
2 October 2017

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