A New Year,
A New Start
Dr Sam SM Yang
The year of 2022 marked the turning point in the medical history of Hong Kong. We entered and survived the 5th wave of COVID epidemic. By the end of Dec 2022, there were up to 2.5 million Hong Kong people confirmed to be infected with the virus. Indeed, the number should be more than that as there were asymptomatic and non-reported infections. With a wide base of population who had the antibody against the virus, we were better protected than before. The government is gradually lifting various measures targeted at containing the virus: travel restriction across borders was loosened and the maximum number of people for gathering and dining were removed.
We are delighted to see the city is returning to its normal life in the year of 2023.The HKSEMS is resuming its face-to-face activities as well. Internally, courses such as the trainee induction course and EM course for the TCM practitioners are planned to be resumed in physical form. Externally, we are supporting and offering sponsorship to our members to attend international and regional conferences. The Shenzhen-Hong Kong Emergency Medicine Conference is a biennial event that has been held since 2008. Hong Kong and Shenzhen take turns to be the host for the conference. It allows us to develop a tight connection with our EM counterparts in mainland and helps exchange valuable experience among us. Unfortunately, the conference was halted due to the COVID situation in the past three years. And now, with the reopening of the border, we are in the process of resuming the conference. Looking into the future, we believe the conference should not be restricted to be between Hong Kong and Shenzhen only. Rather it should be extended further to include cities and regions in the Greater Bay Area. For the time being, our connection with our EM counterparts is mainly through non-official local medical organizations as there is no official medical specialty system yet. The medical field in the mainland is currently in a rapid process of establishing an official medical specialty governing system. We hope that our connection with our EM counterparts can be further tightened and enhanced when it is established by then.
After three years of living under the mask, the year of 2023 will be a new start for everyone of us when we can meet face-to-face with our mask off.