Special Article: The Development of the Hong Kong Thoracic Society
extracted from presentation by Dr Shiu Lun CHAN at the Autumn Respiratory Seminar 2011
The idea of establishing the Hong Kong Thoracic Society dated back to the 1980s.
Since the early 1960s, there was only the Amercian College of Chest Physicians (Hong Kong and Macau Chapter) with only 25 members to start with, meeting the minimum requirement of the parent ACCP at that time. Following the Fox and Scadding and the working party’s report in 1975, the Hong Kong Government Chest Service expanded scope of work, covering not just tuberculosis but other chest diseases. Senior posts in the Chest Service should hold high qualifications and be respiratory physicians. Since then there was a growing number of respiratory physicians who were increasingly trained and qualified.
In early 1986, Dr. S.Y. So and Dr SL Chan convened a meeting with relevant chest physicians and surgeon (less than ten at that time) to discuss on the formation of the Hong Kong Thoracic Society. The memorandum of the Malaysian Thoracic Society was used as reference and Dr. S.Y. So helped in drafting the memorandum of the Hong Kong Thoracic Society.
Yet at that time there was no funding to start with, it was most fortunate and timely that a generous sum of donation of Ten Thousand Hong Kong Dollars from an anonymous patient of Dr. John Leung was received, so the necessary expense for the initial establishment of HKTS was met with.
On 21st October, 1986, the Hong Kong Thoracic Society Ltd. was inaugurated.
The Objectives of establishing the HKTS were:
1. To provide the advancement of Study of thoracic diseases.
2. To co-ordinate and correlate the efforts of organizations, companies, associations, societies, institutions, statutory bodies and other authorities and individuals, interested in causes, diagnosis, prevention and treatment of thoracic diseases with a view to reducing morbidity and mortality in Hong Kong.
3. To promote, foster, develop and assist medical and allied profession in the study of and the acquisition, dissemination and application of knowledge and information concerning the causes, diagnosis prevention and treatment of thoracic diseases.
4. Encourage, stimulate, aid research and investigations into the causes and treatment of thoracic diseases.
5. To stimulate public interest and provide public education in prevention, treatment of thoracic disease and related problems and to assist in keeping the medical profession with up-to-date in latest development in the field of medical and scientific research.
6. To encourage, assist and arrange medical practitioners, scientists, students and other to travel abroad and engage in research, study and training in thoracic diseases.
For the first few years after establishement, the Hong Kong Thoracic Society and the American College of Chest Physician (ACCP) held Scientific meetings individually. For subsequent years, Scientific meetings were jointly held by the two Societies and the 13th Asian Pacific Conference jointly held in 1994 was a very successful example. From 1996 onwards, after the Hong Kong Lung Foundation was established, Annual Scientific meeting was held in March and Autumn respiratory meeting in November, and these were jointly held by the three organizations (HKTS, ACCP-HKM and HKLF). Up till now, the HKTS published Joint-Newsletter quarterly with ACCP-HKM and HKLF; and there are further development of the Hong Kong Respiratory Medicine Website (www.hkts.hk) in active function since 2009
End of Special Article
The Society works along with the following objects:-
1. To promote the advancement of study of thoracic diseases.
2. To coordinate and correlate the efforts of organizations, companies, associations, societies, institutions, statutory bodies and other authorities and individuals interested in the causes, diagnosis, prevention and treatment of thoracic diseases with a view to reduce morbidity and mortality in Hong Kong.
3. To promote, foster, develop and assist medical and allied profession in the study of and the acquisition, dissemination and application of knowledge and information concerning the causes, diagnosis, prevention and treatment of thoracic disease.
a. To encourage, stimulate and aid research and investigations.
b. To stimulate public interest and provide public education.
c. To encourage, assist and arrange for medical practitioners, scientist, students and others to come to Hong Kong for the purposes of research and study and for the purposes of teaching and demonstrating theory and practice and to travel aboard and engage in research, study and training and to gain experiences, all in the causes, diagnosis, prevention and treatment of thoracic diseases.
During the first year of establishment of the Society, there was only about eighty ordinary and associate members. The Society by used to hold scientific meetings or seminars once every six weeks. Overseas renown physicians and scientist were invited to deliver talks. The following year the society decided to organize and host joint meetings and symposia with the ACCP (HK & Macau Chapter). Most meetings were very educational and well attended, particularly the 13th Asian Pacific Congress on Diseases of the Chest in 1994 and the 1st Forum on Allergy in 1995. Currently the Society consists of a total of over 500 members. 50% are medical and 50% are paramedical, and membership continues to grow.