World Family Doctor Day recognises contribution by family doctors

     The Department of Health (DH) and the Hong Kong College of Family Physicians (HKCFP) today (May 19) called on healthcare professionals and the general public to recognise the important contribution by family doctors in the healthcare system globally.

     The call echoed the consensus reached in the last Council Meeting held by the World Organisation of National Colleges, Academies and Academic Associations of General Practitioners/Family Physicians (WONCA, also known as the World Organisation of Family Doctors) in Cancun, Mexico, in May 2010 to designate May 19 every year as World Family Doctor Day.

     This particular day provides the opportunity to conduct activities in every part of the world to give recognition to the important role of family doctors and general practitioners in the global healthcare system and draw attention to their considerable contribution.

     Evidence abounds that a good primary care system, which entails the provision of accessible first contact care that is comprehensive, continuing, co-ordinated and person-centred, is effective in improving health from a population point of view and promoting better use of healthcare resources.

     As the executive arm of the Government's primary care drive, the Primary Care Office (PCO) of the DH has all along been committed to coordinating the development and implementation of the initiatives that aim to promote primary care in Hong Kong.

     Major efforts include:

* The launching of a territory-wide Primary Care Campaign in early April to raise public awareness of the benefits of primary care in disease prevention and management;

* The establishment of a Primary Care Directory ( to help the public identify their own family doctor and dentist; and

* The development of reference frameworks for two common chronic diseases, namely diabetes and hypertension, to provide reference for best practice for healthcare professionals in primary care settings and facilitate patient empowerment.

     The HKCFP, on the other hand, has been committed to promoting the family doctor concept since its establishment in 1977. It is organising the first Hong Kong Primary Care Conference on May 28 and 29, 2011 to promote primary care and commemorate World Family Doctor Day. The PCO is co-organising the Conference's dinner symposium with the HKCFP on May 28.

     The symposium will serve as a platform for family doctors to share the latest scientific updates, current developments and future trends in the management of diabetes and hypertension in primary care settings in Hong Kong and overseas.

     The key speakers at the symposium will be Director of the School of Public Health and Primary Care, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Professor Sian Griffiths; Professor of the Department of Family Medicine and Primary Care, The University of Hong Kong, Professor Cindy Lam; and Professor and Chair of General Practice, The University of Melbourne, Australia, Professor Doris Young. Professor Griffiths will also co-chair the symposium with Dr Amy Chiu, Head, Primary Care Office.

Ends/Thursday, May 19, 2011
Issued at HKT 15:35