Gabriel Ng and the organising committee members cutting the 50th anniversary cake.
Gabriel Ng and the organising committee members cutting the 50th anniversary cake.

Golden celebrations for physical therapy education in Hong Kong

The golden jubilee of physical therapy education in Hong Kong was marked in December with a major seminar.

The event was held at the Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, in collaboration with the Hong Kong Physiotherapy Association, the Hong Kong College of Physiotherapy and Physiotherapy Concern. Guests included Gabriel Leung, the Hong Kong government’s Under Secretary for Food and Health; Philip Chan, Deputy President of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University; and Joseph Lee, Legislative Council Member, Health Services Constituency.

The opening ceremony included a torch relay by graduates from the 1960s through to 2010. “The relay reflected our important educational milestones, such as the advancement of undergraduate physiotherapy education from diploma to baccalaureate level, and the launching of MSc, MPhil and PhD programmes in Hong Kong,” said Margaret Mak, Associate Professor and physiotherapy programme leader at the university. “The ignition of torches at the ceremony symbolised the spirit to continue the advancement of physiotherapy education in Hong Kong.”

Margot Skinner, WCPT Executive Committee member for Asia Western Pacific, gave a talk entitled “Reflections on a golden era of education and what lies ahead” looking at 50 years of development in physical therapy and ahead to the future. 

This was followed by a dinner for alumni, students and physiotherapists who graduated between 1960 and 2009.  A DVD has been produced to commemorate these events, showing a brief history of physiotherapy education in Hong Kong, congratulatory messages from founding physiotherapists and Margot Skinner’s address. 

The following day, physiotherapists and physiotherapy students held a health promotion event focusing on educating the public about the importance of maintaining good health and fitness. Participants received health screening tests and advice on flexibility, muscle strength, foot health, lung capacity and balance. Experienced physiotherapists delivered talks on child fitness, exercises for office workers, the prevention of sports injuries and healthy ageing. 

There was also an exhibition of historical pictures of physiotherapy education over the last 50 years. “It has been a remarkable fifty years for physiotherapy education in Hong Kong,” says Margaret Mak.  “We would like to express our gratitude, respect and pride to everyone involved in paving the way to this remarkable achievement. We look forward to collaborating with WCPT to advance physiotherapy education in Hong Kong and in mainland China to new frontiers.”