History and Activities

of

Hong Kong Doctors Union

History

Hong Kong Doctors Union is the one and only trade Union specially designed for all doctors in Hong Kong whether working as employee or self-employed. Our primary objectives have changed from the basic task of supervising allocation of public housing estate clinics in the very beginning to higher ideals of safeguarding the welfare and rights of doctors. Our transformation from Estate Doctors Association Ltd. into Hong Kong Doctors Union Ltd. in 2000 proclaimed our final evolution into a strong and committed community to serve all doctors in Hong Kong, to cater for their legitimate rights and welfare, their recreation, continuous education and development. To mark the final stage of evolution, Hong Kong Doctors Union adopted its present name officially in 2002.

The policy of allocating medical clinics to Registered Doctors in Low-cost Housing Estates was set up in 1965 by the Medical and Health Department when it was realized that the Hong Kong Government could not cater adequate medical care to the population of these areas.  Hitherto, these residents went to the very few clinics or mobile vans run by exempted unregistered doctors.  Needless to say, the standard of medical care was low and unsatisfactory.

As it had not been the policy of the Medical and Health Department to set up Government O.P.D. Clinics in these Estates, a pilot scheme of inviting Registered Doctors to practise in these areas was initiated by the Hon. DMHS. When a favorable response was obtained from Members of the Hong Kong Chinese Medical Association, a meeting was convened in September, 1966 at the Hong Kong University Alumni Association.  During this meeting, Dr. Gerald Choa, the then Deputy DMHS, took the chair and proposed that a Provisional Committee known as the Low-Cost Clinics Doctors Management Committee should be formed.

This Committee would act as liaison body between its members, the Medical and Health Department, the Resettlement Department, and the Hong Kong Housing Authority (HKHA). It would elect its own code of rules and regulations of clinic allocation.  It would promote the welfare of its members and also act as an arbitrating body whenever there was dispute among members.

In 1971, the name was changed to the Low-Cost Clinic Association of Registered Doctors.  Four years later, its name was again changed to the Public Housing Estate Clinic Association of Registered Doctors. The Association was incorporated into a limited company under the name of the Estate Doctors Association Ltd.(EDA) on 17.8.1976.

EDA worked in close partnership with HKHA in the allocation and management of medical clinics in the public housing estates, and promoted continuing medical education among members by organizing regular luncheon talks, video cassette sessions and community medical programmes. EDA became more and more active in the following roles which were fully supported by members:-

(1) as a consultative body to the Hong Kong Government on various health issues such as the Harvard Report, Clinical Waste Disposal, Mental Health Ordinance, Chinese Medicine Bill,

(2) as a professional body safeguarding professional autonomy and interests such as annual declaration of no conviction, dangerous drugs guidelines, clauses in the Professional Code & Conduct on managed care.

On 1.1.2000, HKHA changed its policy on letting of medical and dental clinics in public housing estates and all vacant clinics were to be let through open tender to replace the letting by nomination from either EDA or the Estate Dentists Group. Since then EDA ceased all the activities of allocation and management of estate clinics. In order to reflect the role of the Association more clearly, the name of Estate Doctors Association Ltd. was changed to Hong Kong Doctors Union Ltd. (HKDU) on 14.4.2000.

Two years later, in April, 2002, we completed registration with the Registry of Trade Union of HKSAR and now functions as a trade union. We are in a stronger position to achieve our new mission of upgrading on professional image and protecting our doctors' rights.

Activities

HKDU is now a highly motivated, conscientious and energetic doctors group.  We never stop alerting the authorities to all threats to the freedom of and fairness for the private and single handed doctor while appealing for the overworked public doctor.  HKDU appealed many times to different authorities to ensure fairness to all.  We reported improper practices by drug stores and unfair canvassing.  HKDU openly appealed to the Government and alerted the public to the risk of SARS well ahead of the Government in Spring 2003, calling for wearing of masks and implement other protective measures before the Government. The media has been giving us credit for such a service to the community.  Under the Management of HKDU, a Hong Kong Doctors Directory, approved by the Medical Council of Hong Kong is now available to provide the public with free and easy access to doctors' information.

Continuous efforts were made to provide the best practical CME for doctors.  HKDU have a long history of organizing formal CME activities and possess immense experience. Besides our regular monthly Sunday afternoon symposia attended by over 400 doctors and luncheon meetings with 100 doctors, we have 24 study groups to provide CME activities for all HK doctors. In particular the Sunday afternoon symposia have been praised for being well presented, informative, practical and useful.

As accredited CME Provider, CME Programme Accreditor and CME Programme Administrator, HKDU came top among ten CME Providers in offering 113 CME hours and capable of providing 24,930 credit points in between 1.10.2001 and 31.3.2002.

Despite our success in CME activities, we never stop trying to be fair.  We have sought and will continue to dissuade the authorities to refrain from linking CME with annual relicensing.

Over the years, the following Committees were set up to cater for members' needs: -

a) By-laws Committee

To study and give advice to the Council on setting up by-laws of HKDU.

b) China Affairs Committee

To liaise with the Mainland Officials, arranging health talks and academic exchange tour, exploring the feasibility of building electronic platforms for exchange of medical knowledge with medical professions in the Mainland. To assist members who are interested to move North under the CEPA arrangements resolving hurdles for setting up clinics.

c) Committee on CME

To explore, discuss and develop CME programmes tailored for members such as Sunday afternoon symposia, luncheon seminars, CME study groups, community medical programmes, study courses and on-line CME programmes, and to explore means to promote quality assurance of the medical profession.

d) Committee on Doctors' Rights and Autonomy

To receive complaints concerning the jeopardy of the doctorsí rights and autonomy from doctors, and to suggest ways of handling those complaints to the HKDU Council.

e) Committee on Epidemics

To disseminate information and health alerts to our members during epidemics. To promote the collaboration between public and private health care sectors during epidemics. To assist in ordering protective measures for members and to educate citizens on preventive health care measures during epidemics.

f) Committee on Pubic & Private Interface

To assist in finding means to alleviate the imbalance of Public & Private medical services.

g) Consumer Committee

To negotiate with commercial suppliers of pharmaceutical and consumer products as to obtain best deal for members. 

h) Estate Practice Committee

To receive complaints concerning medical practice in public housing estates from doctors, and to suggest ways of handling those complaints to the HKDU Council. To negotiate with Housing Authority in past years and The Link Properties Limited on rate of estate practices since 2005.

i) Finance Committee

To give advice to the Council of the Union in financial matters.

j) Information Technology Committee

The HKDU Homepage (http://www.hkdu.org) has been in operation since 1997.  The HKDU CME website (http://cme.hkdu.org) has been continuously upgraded and updated to cater for membersí needs.  CME Calendar, Online Quiz, CME links library and lecture recordings of HKDU Sunday Afternoon Symposia have all been put up on Internet for membersí access. 

The committee at the same time stay tuned with information technology advances, and to recommend new clinic software and technology to the Council and members when appropriate.

In the year 2007, with the recommendation of iProA, our CME website "HKDU CME Website - http://cme.hkdu.org" won the best eHealth website among all the contestants in China and Hong Kong and had been subsequently nominated for the World Summit Award 2007 Contest.

k) Medical Protection Committee

To search for Medical Protection Plan (MPP) with well coverage for members such as the one that was set up from September 1997 and had been running smoothly for five years. A new Medical Protection Plan provided by Asia Insurance Co. Ltd. was launched in December 2004 and succeeded by QBE Hong Kong and Shanghai Insurance Limited in year 2010. The number of participants kept growing and by now, we have 522 members registered in the plan.

l) Membership Services Committee

To organize variety of recreational activities for members and their families. To negotiate bargain prices for goods and services to members from providers.  Local and overseas trips were also organized for members in the past years. Apart from trips, we have two clubs, namely Photo Club and Dancing Club for members to join.

m) Public Affairs Committee

To address issues likely to affect any section of the profession in any manner, be they status, earnings, ease and style of practice, relations with society. To improve communication among members and between them and the Council, in order to consider their opinions fairly and truly. 

n) Public Health Education Committee

To promote health education to the general public and at the same time to improve the image of the medical profession and HKDU.  HKDU was invited by Metro Broadcast and Hong Kong Broadband Network Ltd. to recruit members to be guest speakers in their live Medical Talk Show since October 2004 and November 2005 respectively. HKDU was one of the appointed Committee Members of the Skill Upgrading Scheme Medical & Health Care Profession by the Labor and Wealth Bureau. Since the year 2004 our Union has been supporting the scheme to consider the training need for personnel in medical and healthcare services. HKDU was invited by Otic Charity Foundation as supporting organization to co-organise charity activities in the past two years to raise fund for those financially constrained citizens with speech and hearing impairments.

o) Publication Committee

To oversee all publications to members, such as the monthly circulars, Doctors Union Bulletins & Forum, and HKDU Handbook. All the valuable CME materials of HKDU Sunday Afternoon Symposia delivered by prestigious speakers and specialists were recorded in the CME Bulletin CD.

p) Research Ethics Committee

To approve, review and monitor clinical research, with respect to ethical requirements, upon the submission of requests by HKDU members or doctors at large.

q) Social Activities Committee

To organize annual social events for members e.g. the Annual Dinner Party.

r) Sports Committee

To organize annual sport events for members e.g. the Annual Snooker Tournament, Table-Tennis Tournament, Tennis Tournament, Soccer Tournament and Golf Tournament.

Under the devoted and concerted effort of the council members and with the support and encouragement of the profession and the community, Hong Kong Doctors Union continues to move on and flourish.

香港西醫工會簡介

擁有近二千名會員的香港西醫工會,是香港唯一根據工會註冊條例,由公營及私營醫生聯合組成的工會組織;香港西醫工會不單關注會員的權益及其僱傭關係,更以提升醫生的專業水平,達致民康為己任。

歷史及演變

本會原名新邨西醫協會,源於監督公共屋邨診所的分配及管理。於2000年轉為香港西醫聯會,最後為了進一步投入社區及服務全港醫生,於2002年演變為香港西醫工會。

遠於1965年,由於衞生署未能於公共屋邨提供基層醫療服務,當時政府倡議邀請註冊醫生在這些地區組織先鋒行醫隊伍。經香港中華醫學會(香港醫學會前身)會員的正面回應後,於1966年9月假香港大學校友會舉行會議,由衞生署執行總監蔡永業醫生主持及建議成立一個臨時委員會,名為廉租屋邨診所醫生管理委員會。該委員會成為其醫生會員、衞生署、徙置事務署及香港房屋署的聯繫渠道,制定診所分配的法規,關注會員的福利及調解會員間紛爭的仲裁團體。

1971年,改名為廉租屋邨診所註冊醫生協會。四年後,再改名為公共屋邨診所註冊醫生協會,於1976年8月17日以有限公司註冊,名為新邨西醫協會有限公司。新邨西醫協會與香港房屋署緊密合作,監督公共屋邨西醫診所的分配及管理。並推廣會員延續醫學進修,定期舉辦午餐講座、視像課程及社區醫療活動。在得到會員全力支持下,新邨西醫協會更積極扮演以下角色:

1. 成為香港政府在各項衞生議題上的諮詢團體,如哈佛報告、診所廢物處理、精神健康條例、中醫藥草案等;

2. 成為保障專業自主及利益的專業團體,如反對每年申報無犯罪紀錄、檢討危險藥物指引及醫生專業守則條約等。

於2000年1月1日,香港房屋署修訂公共屋邨西醫及牙醫診所的出租政策,將所有空置診所作公開投標出租代替由新邨西醫協會及公共屋邨牙醫事務組的提名。因此新邨西醫協會停止所有有關分配及管理公共屋邨診所的活動。為了更明確地反映出協會在社會上及專業界別內的角色,於2000年4月14日由新邨西醫協會有限公司易名為香港西醫聯會有限公司。

兩年後2002年4月,我會完成香港職工會登記處的註冊手續,正式成為工會。自此,我會在更崇高的位置上展現了新的使命──提升專業形象及保障醫生的權益。

組織及活動

香港西醫工會是一個有崇高抱負、努力不斷求上進和充滿活力的醫生團體。我會不斷監察當局的醫療政策,力求對全港醫生公平對待,對獨立經營的私家醫生,有不公平或箝制自由的政策,我會都多次向當局反映意見,當中包括匯報有關不公平宣傳引致的不公平競爭及藥行非法售賣葯物等個案;與此同時亦為辛勤過勞的公家醫生提供協助。在2003年春,本會克服了重重困難,公開請求政府呼籲和提醒公眾關注沙士的危險,比政府更早呼籲醫生及市民戴口罩以及推行防預措施,我會對社會的貢獻,得到不少傳媒的讚賞。在得到香港醫務委員會核准,本會管理的全港醫生名冊已於互聯網上免費發放資料,方便市民取得全港醫生的服務資訊。

西醫工會亦秉承一貫工作方針,努力向同業提供最佳、最實用的延續醫學進修。我會舉辦的活動堪稱歷史悠久,經驗豐富。除了恆常有四百多位醫生參與的星期天學術研討會,和有百多人參加的午餐聚會外,更有24個學術小組遍佈港九新界。活動深得各方嘉許,被讚譽為富吸引力、清楚易明,資料充足及簡潔實用。作為醫委會認可的延續醫學進修提供,評分與管理機構,於2000年10月至2002年3月間,我會於十個提供者中,因能提供113延續醫學進修鐘數和24,930積分而名列第一。縱使工會因著重延續醫學進修而成功,我們依然堅持反對當局盲目地把延續醫學進修與每年換領行醫執照掛勾的主張。

多年來,我們組織了以下多個常設委員會以配合會員的需要:

1.        附屬條例委員會

負責研究本會之附例及向幹事會作出適當的建議。

2.        中國事務委員會

負責與中國內地官員聯絡,安排衞生課程,學術交流團,探討建立電子平台的可行性,以便跟內地醫療業界交換醫學知識。協助在CEPA安排下有興趣北上開業的會員排除困難。

3.        延續醫學進修委員會

負責開發、探討及發展延續醫學進修活動,例如:星期日下午舉行的研習會、午餐聚會、分區研習小組、社區醫務課程、專題課程及網路延續醫學進修活動;並探討各種專業評核方案。

4.        醫生權益委員會

負責處理會員有關醫生權益或專業自主受損的投訴,並向幹事會建議處理方案。

5.        流行病委員會

負責向會員發放有關傳染病的資訊及警告;促進公私營醫療體系於疫症期間的合作;協助會員購置防疫裝備,及教育市民防疫知識。

6.        公私營合作委員會

負責探討解決公私營醫療失衡的可行方案。

7.        產品推廣委員會

負責跟醫療產品供應商磋商,為會員提供優惠價格。

8.     屋邨營運委員會

負責處理有關公共屋邨執業相關事宜,並向幹事會建議處理方案。多年來與房屋委員會及自2005年起與領匯管理有限公司磋商有關公共屋邨執業相關事宜。

9.        財務委員會

負責就財務問題向幹事會提出建議。

10.     資訊科技委員會

香港西醫工會網頁(http://www.hkdu.org) 早於1997年已開始運作,而延續醫學進修網頁(http://cme.hkdu.org)亦不斷提升及提供最新的進修日誌、網上試題、相關聯線、星期日講課錄音轉播等服務,方便會員查閱。

委員會並負責跟進資訊科技新動向,向幹事會及會員提供合用的產品資訊。

在2007年,經互聯網專業協會推薦,我會的網站「香港西醫工會延續醫學進修網站」於全中國及香港所參賽作品中獲選為最佳香港電子健康網站及被提名參加「世界信息峰會大獎」。

11.     醫療專業保障委員會

負責為會員揀選合適的醫療專業保障計劃;1997年9月成立的保障計劃,運作5年後終止,於2004年12月以亞洲保險公司的新保障計劃替代,至2010年由昆士蘭聯保保險有限公司接繼到現在。目前參與會員數目正穩步增長,至今共有522位會員登記此計劃。

12.     會員福利委員會

負責為會員及其家人籌辦聯誼活動,向商戶商討優惠及褔利。亦曾舉辦多個本地及海外旅遊團。除舉辦旅遊團外,我們也有兩個興趣小組:攝影小組和舞蹈班供會員參加。

13.     公共事務委員會

負責回應與業界相關的議題,加強會員及幹事會的溝通使能正確和全面地了解會員就各項議題的意見。

14.     健康教育委員會

負責向公眾傳播醫療常識及加強業界及本會的正面形象。本會曾於2004年10月應新城電台及2005年11月應香港寬頻網絡公司的要求,安排合適的會員為該台的醫療節目作主講嘉賓。本會被勞工及福利局任命為核下的醫療護理業技能提升計劃委員,自從2004年開始本會支持該計劃並為醫療人員提供訓練。西醫工會並獲奧迪慈善基金邀請在過去兩年合辦慈善活動,為有經濟困難的聽覺及言語障礙人士籌款。

15.     會刊出版委員會

負責本會一切對內刊物的出版事宜,包括本會每月通訊、西醫工會月刊、會員手冊等。

16.     科研道德審核委員會

負責審核臨床研究的申請是否合乎科研的道德標準及進行定期監察。

17.     康樂委員會

負責籌辦週年社交活動,如週年聚餐舞會。

18.     體育委員會

負責籌辦各項週年體育活動,如桌球比賽、乒乓球比賽、網球比賽、足球及高爾夫球比賽等。

在幹事們的努力及同業和社會人仕的支持及鼓勵下,香港西醫工會的業務會繼續蒸蒸日上。