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About HKCFP > President’s Message

June 2023

On 31 May every year, the world comes together to celebrate World Health Organisation's (WHO's) World No Tobacco Day (WNTD). This year’s theme is “We need food, not tobacco”. The 2023 WHO WNTD campaign aims at promoting the awareness about alternative crop production and marketing opportunities for tobacco farmers and encourage them to grow sustainable, nutritious crops, thereby contributing to the global food crisis. (Please Click) “Tobacco is responsible for 8 million deaths a year." said Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General. “By choosing to grow food instead of tobacco, we prioritize health, preserve ecosystems, and strengthen food security for all.” Dr. Ruediger Krech, Director of Health Promotion, WHO said, “Tobacco is not only a massive threat to food insecurity, but health overall."

Not only do the harmful effects of smoking affect the smokers, but also people around them. A recent large scale cross-sectional study conducted locally has shown that second hand smoking is a potential risk factor of short-sightedness in children. Children who were exposed to secondhand smoke had early onset of myopia, and had increased risk of developing more severe refractive errors in their eyes. The research findings suggest that early elimination of second hand smoking is important for preventing the development of myopia among young children. (Please Click) As frontline family doctors, we are in an advantageous position to counsel our patients who are smoking to quit the habit. Thank you and please keep up your excellent work in advising patients on smoking cessation.

As mentioned in my previous messages, in December 2022, the Hong Kong Government released the Primary Healthcare Blueprint to formulate the direction of development and strategies for strengthening Hong Kong's primary healthcare system to address the challenges brought about by an ageing population and the increasing prevalence of chronic disease. It also aims to map out the next steps towards establishing a primary healthcare system that can improve the overall health of the public and enhance their quality of life. As stated in the Blueprint, the Government is set to develop a community based primary healthcare system that includes initiatives such as strengthening the registration system of family doctors and facilitating the two-way referral mechanism of District Health Centres (DHCs) with the specialist and hospital services. The Government encourages citizens to set up self-care health plans, download and use the eHealth mobile app, engage a family doctor, and register as a DHC member. Family doctors will help the citizens build a healthier life emphasising disease prevention, and chronic disease management.

In support of the World Family Doctor Day (WFDD) this year, the Hong Kong College of Family Physicians (HKCFP) and Hong Kong Health Bureau had jointly held the Family Doctor Promotion Day on 19 May to promote the concept of disease prevention and "Family Doctor For All" at the community level. The event also recognised the significant contributions made by family doctors in tackling public health crises and promoting primary healthcare. Nearly 100 guests from diverse backgrounds comprising stakeholders from public and private healthcare sectors, patient groups leaders, and representatives from the Department of Health, the Hospital Authority, and District Health Centres (DHCs)/DHC Expresses attended the event. The video of the event is available at https://www.hkcfp.org.hk/pages_1_2053.html.

Our College representative attended a live Radio Programme ‘Healthpedia’ of Radio Television Hong Kong in May to promote the WFDD and talked about the important Roles of a Family Doctor. In addition, we also published an article in a local newspaper, the Hong Kong Economic Journal, to highlight this year’s theme on the essential roles of a Family Doctor.

Dr. David V K CHAO

President

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