The Formation of the Hong Kong College of Paediatricians

The idea of a postgraduate academy of medicine was first mooted by Dr Harry S.Y Fang of the Government Medical Advisory Committee around 1983-1984. There then followed the appointment of an external consultant and a working party on postgraduate medical education and training in 1986 to study the problem, culminating in the publication of the Halnan's Report in October, 1988, which recommended the establishment of a postgraduate Academy of Medicine to supervise, and accredit postgraduate training and to award specialist qualifications.

A great deal of discussion and debate took place within the medical community in Hong Kong during that time. Specialist groups began to discuss the establishment of individual Colleges to act as "building blocks" for the future Academy.

In 1985, a group of adult physicians and paediatricians formed a working party to draft the constitution of a proposed Hong Kong College of Physicians (for those physicians practising adult medicine and those practising paediatric medicine).

After a lengthy period of intense discussion, the Memorandum and Articles of Association of the Hong Kong College of Physicians were finalised and the Hong Kong College of Physicians was incorporated as a company on the 31st day of October, 1986. The Subscribers included 29 adult physicians and 13 paediatricians. Criteria were laid down for admitting doctors with recognised postgraduate training and qualification as either Fellows or Members.

It was suggested that two autonomous chapters be set up within the College, one for adult physicians and one for paediatricians.

Subsequent to this, a Preparatory Committee for the formation of the Academy was appointed by the Governor under the Chairmanship of Professor David Todd.

After much deliberation, the proposal contained in the Halnan's Report for seven Colleges was dropped in favour of the present eleven Colleges and three Faculties, which represent the actual divisions of medical specialties, each with a sufficiently large membership, that are already in existence in Hong Kong.
In the meantime, it was felt that the adult physicians and the paediatricians should be represented in the Academy by two separate Colleges instead of the single college with two chapters as originally proposed. The Council of the Hong Kong College of Physicians then appointed a group of paediatricians who were fellows, under the chairmanship of Professor C.Y. Yeung, one of the two Vice-Presidents, to study the formation of a separate College of Paediatricians and to draft its constitution.

A meeting of paediatricians (including fellows and members of the College as well as other paediatricians) was held on 16th December, 1990, at the Federation of Medical Societies of Hong Kong, and it was resolved that a College of Paediatricians be established.

A group of 30 paediatricians put their names down as subscribers when the Memorandum and Articles of Association was finalised. The "Hong Kong College of Paediatricians" was formally incorporated as a company on the 8th day of May, 1991.

On the advice of our Honorary Legal Advisor, the original College was left intact and a new college was formed. The adult physicians retained the original College while the paediatric fellows and members resigned and had their files transferred to the new College of Paediatricians.

The Inaugural Meeting of the Hong Kong College of Paediatricians was held on the 16th of November, 1991, at the Grand Ballroom of the Hong Kong Hilton Hotel. All Fellows were sworn in and awarded the Certificate of Fellowship. They also signed the College Register.

This article was written by Dr Y.C. Tsao and was reproduced from the Inauguration Bulletin of the Hong Kong College of Paediatricians