Academic journal article Hong Kong Journal of Psychiatry

Editorial

Academic journal article Hong Kong Journal of Psychiatry

Editorial

Article excerpt

In accepting the invitation to write this editorial, I was engulfed by a feeling of excitement not unlike that experienced by the delightful adolescent in the movie Back to the Future. It has given me an opportunity to look back at psychiatry in I long Kong in the beginning of this century while maintaining my memory and understanding of the present. In so doing, I may gain some insight into the future.

Like many important achievements in history, psychiatry in Hong Kong had a humble beginning. At the turn of the century a small wing of the Government Central Hospital in Sri Ying Poon was allocated to the care of the mentally ill- Over a span of 17 years only 30 patients were admitted. The reasons for such a low admission rate are now lost in the mist of history.

In the subsequent decades psychiatry remained in the backwaters and psychiatrists practised essentially as alienist.

The period of accelerated growth started in the 1970s. The last decades were characterized by a rapid increase in the number of inpatient beds. outpatient and day patient facilities and the proliferation of community services. The number of qualified psychiatrists, psychiatric nurses and mental health workers also multiplied. Two academic departments of psychiatry were also established. All these developments have provided for an improvement in both the quantity and quality of care.

In 1990 with the founding of the Hong Kong Academy of Medicine, psychiatry was accorded the status of a Foundation College. …

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