Message from Chairman

Dr Yeung Chiu Fat Henry
on EDA's 30th Anniversary in 1996

Our thirtieth anniversary is indeed a landmark in our Association since it coincides more or less with the return of Hong Kong to her motherland, China.

Since our inception in 1966, we have witnessed dramatic changes in Hong Kong's political and economic scene. Thanks to the good work of the Hong Kong Housing Authority, our patients who used to live in very dirty and crowded resettlement areas in the past are being accommodated in clean and attractive public housing estates nowadays. At the same time, they expect more and more in the medical service provided by our estate doctors.

We must thank our forerunners who did a great job in improving and monitoring the quantity and quality of registered medical practitioners to serve the residents of the public housing estates of Hong Kong, which represents almost half of the Hong Kong population.

All through the years, our past Chairmen and Council members had worked closely with the Housing Department in the allocation of estate clinics to our members. Out of our 1,500 strong membership which is open to all registered medical practitioners in Hong Kong, there are almost 300 doctors working in the public housing estates nowadays. The clinics were allotted to these doctors under an absolutely fair allocation system which can stand the test of time and the challenges from ICAC. These clinic practices are strictly monitored by the EDA by-laws.

In face of the rapid advance in medical science, our association has, for many years, been providing education opportunities for our members in the form of seminars, workshops, exhibitions and also through our newly established Electronic Bulletin Board. This is to ensure that our members, be they general practitioners or doctors with special interest in particular field, would continue to provide high standard preventive and curative health care to public estate residents. Not only do our members provide medical service at a comparative low charge to the residents, they also volunteer to give significant discounts to senior citizens and residents with financial difficulties through our EDA Medical Aid Scheme. Many thanks for their good work and dedication to the community.

We have close relationship with other medical bodies, and some office-bearers of our association have recently been elected to the Council of the Hong Kong Medical Association, our parent association, with the sole objective of making it the strongest and most representative Medical body in Hong Kong. When this article is published, we do hope that a broader representation would also have been achieved in the newly formed and expanded Medical Council of Hong Kong.

The problems lying ahead for the association are of two types: those from the estate clinic practice and those concerning our professional matters.

For estate clinic practice, problems are that there will be more and more privatization of public housing estate management which we believe will not benefit the medical service in the estates. We do hope that with the cooperation of the Housing Department, some measures can be taken to solve the difficulties.

On the professional side, recent issues such as the Incorporation of Medical Practice, Coroners Bill, Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance, the rapid increasing contract medicine industry in Hong Kong and the significant shift of patients from the private to public sector for medical service deserve our close attention.

To face and solve all these problems require strong support not only from our sister associations but from all of you as well. With your full support, let us hope that the achievements of the Estate Doctors Association in the next 30 years will match if not surpass those in the past. We should strive for a better working environment with one goal in mind - provide high standard medical care to the community.