It is my honor to take up the chairmanship of the Association as of November 2018. The Association was established 18 years ago under the superb leadership of the late Sir Harry Fang, then Medical Superintendent of St. Paul's Hospital. That was a time of difficulties in the private sector after the Asian Economic Crisis and following a period of rapid expansion in the public sector. All the twelve private hospitals got their acts together and engaged the Trent Accreditation Scheme from the United Kingdom to conduct accreditation visits and give recommendations for improvement. Thus began the history of hospital accreditation in Hong Kong.

In 2008, the Association participated in the government's Steering Committee on Hospital Accreditation, which chose the Australian Council on Healthcare Standards (ACHS) as the common scheme for both private and public hospitals. Our members played an active role in the adaptation of the ACHS standards into a Hong Kong Guide, conducting workshops, and recruiting colleagues to be trained as ACHS surveyors. The first group of five member hospitals achieved ACHS accreditation in 2010, while others followed suit in due course. Such concerted action demonstrates our full commitment to continuously improve the quality of services and organizational management, at the same time minimizing risks to protect the safety of our patients and staff.

As the Visiting Doctors model predominates in the private sector, one important role of member hospitals is to ensure that medical procedures are carried out by properly qualified healthcare professionals with the requisite training and experience. The Association has issued a Code of Practice for Doctors to promote good clinical practice. Robust systems of Credentialing have been set up, again a pioneering initiative in the local healthcare scene.

In the development of Hong Kong's healthcare system, the Association has actively supported the various Public Private Partnership schemes initiated by the government to alleviate the burden of the public sector, the Electronic Health Record Sharing System, and the pilot program on Price Transparency. We also contributed ideas to the Voluntary Health Insurance Scheme of the government, again to help achieve a better balance between the public and private sectors, while enhancing citizens' choice for healthcare providers.

All these would not have been possible without the illustrious leadership of previous Chairmen and office bearers, as well as the united spirit of member hospitals. Faced with the challenge of an ageing population, rapidly advancing medical technology, and ever-changing healthcare scene, we will pledge our utmost to improve the quality, efficiency and effectiveness of services in partnership with the public sector and the community.

Dr. William Ho


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