Dear Fellows and Trainees
This is the sixth and the last Presidential Address I deliver in my 2nd consecutive term of office. The council continues to be very diligent in formulating scientific affairs strategies, following up medical education re-energizing programs and managing various issues to maintain effective and efficient business of the college. Total 10 council meetings were held in the past council year. It is not uncommon to have meetings held past 11pm in the evening!
Despite a continual growth in number of fellows and trainees, shortage of manpower in public emergency medical system continues to challenge job satisfaction and patient safety with a risk of compromising training activities too. As a result, I, on command of college council, had organised a media gathering and press release on 25 July 2017. The motion met with positive responses from Hospital Authority and Food and Health Bureau. The college has also been active in responding to Hong Kong Special Administrative Government Policy Addresses in recent years. We have submitted, through Hong Kong Academy of Medicine, the college’s manpower projection report (first issued in 2008 and updated 2014) in January 2017. We also urged government to consider facilitating establishment of Accident & Emergency Departments in private hospitals so as to divert the affordable citizens from public system. We are glad to see the second of this kind being established in a new private hospital recently. At this juncture, I would like to thank all fellows who have actively participated in promulgating our specialty to local citizens / organisations through education in public media such as storylines and response to relevant medical events in newspaper, radio show series and voluntary participation in talks and public seminars on topics related to emergency medicine.
Since establishment of our first subspecialty – Clinical Toxicology – last year, I am happy to inform you that there is good progress with respect to further strengthening of the subspecialty. Clinical Toxicology Board was established under the leadership of Dr. Lau Fei Lung. Second batch of 12 foundation fellows, after completion of make up program, will be conferred the honor of clinical toxicology fellowship at the coming fellowship conferment ceremony in October 2017. Five emergency medicine toxicology training centers were accredited. New fellowship trainees have been enrolled in July 2017. I am looking forward to further enhancement of care to patients suffering from toxicological problems.
After establishment of Clinical Toxicology Board, clinical toxicology subcommittee in Scientific Affairs Committee automatically resolved. However, 3 scientific subcommittees were established in the past council year. They are Clinical Hyperbaric Medicine subcommittee, Extended Care Emergency Medicine subcommittee and Paediatric Emergency Medicine subcommittee. The set up of these subcommittees is in response to needs of the emergency medicine community. The first hospital based hyperbaric chamber will be in service in 2018. Emergency medicine wards are standard provision in nearly all public hospitals with Accident & Emergency Department. With completion and operation of the Hong Kong Children Hospital in 2018, future impact to paediatric emergency service deserves our fellows’ attention. Research subcommittee has re-vitalised in 2017. Five high quality projects were completed under the guidance of tutors of the research seminar. A scientific meeting was organised successfully in July to provide a platform for research presentation. Council has decided that this mid-year scientific meeting will become an annual function. Research Care Research Consortium is setting up to promote research activities in Hong Kong. Research grant will be re-launched soon to encourage research.
The three college chapters (Young Fellows, Woman Fellows and Private Emergency Physicians) continues to organise activities relevant to their respective groups of fellows and trainees. Most activities were also open to all fellows and members. In this council year, an Emergency Medicine Trainee’s Network was established and put under guidance of Young Fellows Chapter. The set up of this network is in response to global movement to engage trainees early in our specialty. It is anticipated that the specialty will grow stronger through this early engagement. This year more than 20 fellows and trainees had participated the inter-collegiate basketball competition organised by the Hong Kong College of Otorhinolaryngologists. Although we only achieved 3rd runner up of the event, we demonstrated good team work and sports spirit. The college council has promised to encourage and support such healthy team building activities.
With respect to education, our Education Committee has been ultra busy in the past one year. College training curriculum task force led by Dr. Wong Tai Wai has nearly completed review of our training program’s core competency, content, milestones and assessment matrix. The training e-portfolio was life run since early this year and successfully implemented. Collaboration with National University of Singapore and College of Emergency Physicians, Singapore, with respect to our Primary and Intermediate examinations have reached some significant consensus. Process to achieve mutual recognition of our Primary Examination of Emergency Medicine (PEEM) and Part A of Master of Medicine, Emergency Medicine, Singapore (MMed Part A) has come to the last stage. From 2018 onward, our trainees can take the annual MMed Part A in Hong Kong in 1st/2nd quarter of the year while Singaporean trainees can take our annual PEEM in 3rd/4th quarter simultaneously. Mutual recognition for our Intermediate Examination of Emergency Medicine and Part B & C of Master of Medicine, Emergency Medicine, Singapore is under pipeline preparation. The collaboration will bring the professional examinations of the two cities to the international level. For the exit examination, the council had bravely looked into the newly adopted truncation method of the scoring system for 2016 examination after receiving a number of appeals. An investigatory panel comprised of our three past presidents was set up to look into the conduct of the examination and advise the council and Appeal Committee. Eventually benefit of doubt was given to five exit examination candidates and their examination results were rectified. I would like to reassure all fellows and trainees that this first ever decision of the college council was under serious scrutiny, after heated debate and completed with proper procedures. It is believed that reputation of the college can only be upheld with honesty, integrity and openness. The Examination Committee has taken reinforced measures to prevent reoccurrence.
Academically, the college published a policy guideline on management of community acquired pneumonia and timing of use of antibiotic in Accident & Emergency Department upon recommendation of the Coroner office. Our journal – The Hong Kong Journal of Emergency Medicine – has eventually entered into contractual agreement with SAGE – an UK based publisher – in July 2017. The on-line submission service, marketing experience, advertisement, indexing advice and end-to-end publishing service will be gradually adopted. It is our wish that the journal will have an increase in readership and becomes more professional. I would like to take this opportunity to thank our out-going editor-in-chief, Dr. Tsui Kwok Leung, who had devoted his past 7 years of dedicated work to make our journal to come to such a success.
Last but not the least, I would like to pass a vote of thanks to those outgoing council members who had whole-heartedly contributed their time, energy and effort to the college matters for the past years. Many of them will stay on and new members are joining. May I wish the new council every success in leading our specialty to another new height! Your support is the guarantee for success.
HO Hiu Fai