WONCA tribute to past president Peter CY Lee

The passing of Dr Peter Lee -

A great loss of the Hong Kong College of Family Physicians

We pay tribute to Dr Peter C Y Lee, a family physician, a community leader, a university man who has given unsparingly his time and effort to make our cause known to a wider world. He was an astute and bonny fighter. Peter’s precedence at the historic strategic forum on “Making Medical Care relevant to Healthcare needs: The Contribution of Family Doctors” says it all about his contribution to Family Medicine. We are grateful for his leadership and support to WONCA throughout the years as President of the World WONCA (1992-1995) as well as serving WONCA in numerous other capacities. WONCA has indeed lost a good friend, a leader and a great supporter.

Peter was one of the founders of The Hong Kong College of Family Physicians (then called Hong Kong College of General Practitioners) more than 30 years ago. Peter transformed general practice from a service delivered by untrained doctors to a true specialty, on par with any other medical specialty. When interviewed a few years ago during the College’s 30th Anniversary, Peter was quite adamant in saying “Prevention is better than cure! Ideally the family physician should make the best use of every consultation to educate patients on how to remain healthy.”

Peter was a truly accomplished Family Physician and a role model to all of us. Besides his work in leading the Hong Kong College in the training, assessment and accreditation of family doctors in Hong Kong, Peter was also the person who promoted the concept to mainland China. In 1986, he led a delegation from Hong Kong to introduce the concept, promote, and convince authorities to train family doctors in China. That was the beginning of an evolution in the enhancement of quality primary care in China through the practice of family medicine.

So many other areas have claimed Peter’s attention from matters medical, academic, to matters civic and from television to public relations. He was executive officer on Hong Kong's most significant medical bodies and has been the President of the Hong Kong Medical Association, Chairman of the Hong Kong St John’s ambulance over the major part of the decade. He was chairman of the Society of Occupational Medicine, Honorary Medical Director and Acting Chairman of the Hong Kong Cheshire Home. He has also been an active worker in the affairs of the Civic Association and chaired the convocation of the Hong Kong University.

His bonny impish pugnacity has everywhere been in evidence. Despite his diversity, he spent all his life convincing the public, fellow medical practitioners and specialists of the value of Family Medicine and spared no effort in promoting it whenever possible. Peter has received numerous award and Honorary Degrees from international bodies and academic bodies. He is an Honorary Fellow of the Hong Kong Academy of Medicine.

We salute his courage, industry, public service and single-minded devotion to this our specialty. We have lost a great leader, a friend but he is a legend and will remain forever in our hearts.

Dr Donald K T Li - WONCA Executive member at large.