Upon the completion of my fellowship training in Corneal and External Ocular Disease at UCLA, I returned to Hong Kong and set up the Department of Ophthalmology in HKSH in 1980. Cornea transplant was not commonly performed in those days, and most of them were carried out by me. Dr. John CHANG later joined us in 1991 after obtaining his fellowship at UCSF.
Then came the establishment of Refractive Surgery Centre (RSC) in 1996 with the world-renowned LASIK pioneer Prof. Guy Hugh CHAN as its founding director. I was one of the many admirers of Prof. CHAN, who was among the very few Chinese professors of Ophthalmology in the US in the 1970s. In the first year of RSC, over 800 LASIK cases were performed by Prof. CHAN, Dr. CHANG, Dr. Patrick TONG and myself. In 1997, it became the first accredited LASIK training centre in Hong Kong, and since then has contributed to the prevalence of refractive surgeries in the local community.
Prof. CHAN also had the most influence on my running and developing the department and HKSH. Without his 3T principles (Teaching, Teamwork and Trust), now being part of the culture of HKSH, we could not have achieved what we have today.
My father had always said, “A doctor needs to know something about everything, and everything about something.” For the latter, one has to work with and learn from peers in other subspecialties. That’s why we have continued to develop over the past 40 years, not only with advanced equipment and technology but also by building up strong expertise in wide-ranging subspecialties, including paediatric ophthalmology, refractive surgery, glaucoma, corneal diseases, vitreoretinal diseases, oculoplastics and neuro-ophthalmology. Supported by a team of optometrists, nurses, technicians and other personnel, our 16 Specialists in Ophthalmology, each being a recognised authority in his or her own discipline, work hand in hand with a common vision, shared expertise and excellent teamwork.
With the support of Prof. CHAN, Prof. CHOW Shew Ping, the former Dean of Medicine of HKU, and Dr. Joseph CHAN, we began to provide training to HKU medical students in 1998. Advanced specialist training in Ophthalmology has also been provided at our department since 2001 with the recognition of the College of Ophthalmologists of Hong Kong.
In future, we will continue to contribute towards establishing a major platform for academic exchange and promoting structured specialty training in the Mainland. We will also keep recruiting the best experts across all subspecialties and expanding our service spectrum to provide the best patient experience with care, safety and satisfactory outcomes.
Dr. Walton LI,
Chief Executive Officer, HKSH Medical Group
Medical Superintendent, Hong Kong Sanatorium & Hospital
Head, Department of Ophthalmology, HKSH
Specialist in Ophthalmology