Letter to the Editor
Letters to the Editor
Re: Paediatric Education and Training: Are We Ready for a Change? by Chan GCF. HK J Paediatr (new series) 2011;16:1-3
With the establishment of the Hong Kong Children's Hospital, the need for subspecialist training has already passed the stage of arguing whether there is such a need but rather how to accomplish the training in order to provide sufficient subspecialists to cover the day-to-day operation of the centre of excellence. You have pointed out very correctly in your recent editorial:
'Due to the rapid advances in medical technology related to diagnosis and treatment, competent paediatric subspecialists are definitely required. Preparation in training the new generation of paediatric subs pecialists is therefore urgently needed to meet the future demands.'
In my subspecialty, paediatric gastroenterology (GI), there has been no training program in any of the medical centres in Hong Kong because we do not have a comprehensive paediatric GI service within the Hospital Authority (HA). Paediatric GI is an intensely procedure-oriented discipline and a lot of hands-on training is required. Currently the training programs in pediatric gastroenterology or most other subspecialties in the USA is of three years in length in accredited centers. Upon finishing the fellowship program, candidates are required to sit for a subspecialty board examination before they are qualified subspecialists.
I would think that the establishment of a team of pediatric gastroenterologists to staff the new children's hospital is urgently needed, and without a training program currently, it is necessary for the planners to assemble such a team as soon as possible in one of the general hospitals before it can move into the new children's hospital and be able to function properly.
To establish a children's hospital is a daunting task. It is not just the hardware but the human factor which is even more important. I hope the HA and the universities would give this imperative full support otherwise I am afraid the transition into the new hospital would not be as painless as we would like it to be.
Paediatric Gastroenterologist, Hong Kong