Doctors are bestowed the unique power to make diagnosis, decide treatment plans and prescribe medicine, which will affect the life and death of their patients. In view of the sacred nature of the job, which requires individual precise judgement, professional knowledge, skill and integrity, doctors are highly respected in society, and the public expects them to be responsible and accountable for their practice as well as their other activities.
Many other professions have an open monitoring mechanism to supervise and review the performance, behaviour and integrity of individual members. In contrast, doctors, especially those in solo practice, are more autonomous, relying on their sense of responsibility and accountability towards patients, professional groups, peers and the public. As society becomes increasingly transparent, the fact is that the performance of doctors is the subject of increasing public interest. To meet this increasing demand for accountability, doctors have to practise medicine and behave in a way, which is reputable and perceived to be reputable. Doctors have to meet and exceed the expectations set by the legal requirements. This will help in building up trust with their patients and maintaining the good image of the profession. It also fulfills their fiduciary duty with the patient's life and well-being entrusted to them.
The ICAC has consulted the Medical Council of Hong Kong and the Hong Kong Medical Association in the development of the Online Guide for Medical Professionals. Their input and efforts are gratefully acknowledged.
The Online Guide for Medical Professionals (the Guide) provides general guidance for educational purpose only and does not purport to deal with all possible issues that may arise in any given situation. Descriptions and explanations of the legal requirements under the relevant ordinances, Codes of Conducts and the recommended practices are necessarily general and abbreviated from the layman's angle. Readers of the Guide should refer to the original legislations, professional standards or seek legal advice as and when necessary. The ICAC does not accept any liability, legal or otherwise, for loss occasioned to any person acting or refraining from action as a result of any content in the Guide. Names of all characters, organisations, locations and incidents portrayed in the Guide are entirely fictitious. No relation to real persons or entities is intended or should be inferred. Throughout the Guide, the male pronoun is used to cover references to both the male and female. No gender preference is intended.