Professor Sally CHAN
With the control of the outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), the health care system and the life of people in Hong Kong are slowly returning to normal. While more than three hundred innocent lives were lost in this battle against SARS, of which eight were healthcare team members, we could not claim victory over this battle. While we are not sure whether SARS will return or not, the Government has been working hard on enhancing strategies for early detection, swift contact tracing, isolation and quarantine to effectively contain the disease in case of another outbreak. Strategies for the protection of healthcare workers via training and the provision of appropriate protective gear are also of prime importance. By reflecting and learning from the experience, we hope that we shall be more prepared to fight the battle should SARS return.
Our Participation in Combating SARS
The Society is proud of the devotion and exemplary courage of the healthcare professionals in Hong Kong in fighting the battle against SARS. In support of their efforts, the Society contributed by working with nursing and healthcare groups in providing health education to the public. We collaborated with the Hong Kong College of Chinese Medicinal Nursing and the Hong Kong Housing Authority to launch a health promotion campaign in Lok Fu Housing Estate in April. More than sixty members of the Society participated in this very successful public health education event.
Members of the Society also collaborated with the Federation of Medical Societies in giving health talks in relation to infection control for medical, dental, nursing and allied health professionals in the private sector. Moreover, the Society participated in responding to public enquiries and providing expert advice through the Bulletin Board Section of the Federation's website and the telephone hotline operated by the Agency for Volunteer Service.
Our Work in Promoting Nursing Education
The Society continues to affirm its commitment to promoting the quality of nursing education in Hong Kong. We have been very successful in providing quality continuing education for qualified nurses, as our courses are always oversubscribed. The Education Subcommittee of the Society will continue with its good work.
As for the future development of nursing education, the society will sustain its efforts in influencing the development of basic nursing education in Hong Kong. With the closure of hospital-based nursing schools, there is a clear demand for increasing the number of first-year first-degree places for nursing. The Society will follow up with the Government and other stakeholders on the issue.
Our Networking Activities
The Society seeks to expand its network with nursing colleagues in the region. On 22 November 2003, the Society will co-organise 'The First Macau-Hong Kong Nursing Conference' with the Luso-Chineses Nurses' Association of Macau. The theme of the conference is "Advancing Nursing Practice in the 21st Century". Speakers of the conference include nursing experts from Hong Kong and Macau. Post-conference visits to hospitals and community health centres will be arranged. Details of the Conference will be sent to members in due course. (Members are urged to mark this event in your diary. We sincerely hope that you will participate in this conference and enjoy the sharing of professional expertise and experience with the Macau nursing colleagues.)
On the other hand, the Society will participate in the Celebration of the National Day with the Association of Hong Kong Health Care Professionals as a major organiser on 16 September 2003. Furthermore, the Society remains an affiliated member of the Federation of Hong Kong Medical Societies. With the establishment of a supportive network, we are confident in working towards our mission.
The Society, would like to thank members for their contribution, support and participation in its activities, and to invite them to give suggestions for future activities. Members may send their ideas to the Society via its website: http://www.fmshk.org/hksne/home.htm or mailbox: P.O.Box 98898, Tsim Sha Tsui Post Office, Kowloon, Hong Kong.