Citations and Speeches


173rd Congregation (2006)

The Hon LEONG Che Hung
GBS, OBE, MBBS, FRCS, FRCS, FRACSEd, FACS, FAMM, FCSHK, FHKAM(Surgery), JP, Degree of Doctor of Science

The Public Orator, Dr Elaine Yee-lin Ho, wrote and delivered the following citation:

Mr Chancellor, Dr Leong Che Hung is well-known to you, this congregation audience, and indeed, most of Hong Kong. For more than two decades, Dr Leong has been in the public eye both as a leading light of the medical profession and an eminent public servant.

Perhaps less well-known is his earlier career as a teacher and surgeon. After graduating from Hong Kong University in 1962, Leong Che Hung worked in the Department of Surgery for fourteen years, from 1964 to 1978. Besides training medical students, he also conducted cutting-edge research in his specialist fields of urology and nephrology. His major research contribution was his experiments in the use of the stomach for bladder replacement and urinary diversion. The publication of the results of these experiments confirmed his reputation among his peers, and he was made Hunterian Professor by the Royal College of Surgeons of England in 1975, the only Hong Kong-born doctor to have won this accolade.

Leong Che Hung could have stayed on at the university where he would no doubt have done many more experiments with equally outstanding results. But in the early nineteen eighties, he left the university to set up in private practice, and more importantly, to involve himself in improving Hong Kong's standards of healthcare. In an unusual turn for someone from his profession, he determined now to attend to the body politic, and entered the public domain as an energetic promoter of political and civic awareness in Hong Kong.

Much of Dr Leong's abundant energy was channelled towards public service. His long list of public duties includes the Chairmanship of the Hong Kong AIDS Foundation, International Drug Abuse Foundation, Medical Development Advisory Committee, Anti-Cancer Society, and the Hospital Authority. He was elected to the Legislative Council in 1988 as a representative of the medical functional constituency. The high esteem in which he was held by his peers was again clearly evident in his election as Founding President of the Hong Kong College of Surgeons in 1990.

In 2002, Leong Che Hung became President of the Hong Kong Academy of Medicine. In performing this role, he drew upon his professional expertise, experience as a teacher and educator, and commitment as a public servant. He built on the work of the Academy's founders, and under his leadership, the Academy focused and sharpened its oversight of the provision of specialist training and continuing medical education. It consolidated the structure of medical colleges each with its own training programmes, and strengthened its collaboration with international examining and specialist accreditation organizations. In all this work, Leong Che Hung is very aware that as a statutory body, the Academy is the guardian of the highest medical standards in Hong Kong, and that it must be fully deserving of the trust that our citizens have reposed in it. He is equally aware that if he has won any praise for what he has achieved, it cannot be a personal honour but should be shared by many people inside and outside the medical profession who had helped along the way.

More recently, Dr Leong has made a welcome return to his alma mater as a member of the Council of Hong Kong University. Though we trust that the university is in rude health, it is good to know that Dr Leung is on call. Meanwhile his interest in cutting-edge medical treatment (that was not a surgical joke) continues in his Chairmanship of the government's Council on Reproductive Technology. He offers his valuable advice as a member of the Greater Pearl River Delta Business Council, and as a member of the Executive Council, he helps to steer the SAR government through its everyday turbulence and occasional tempests towards the prospect of stability and social cohesion.

As Chairman of the Elderly Commission, Leong Che Hung's vision is of a Hong Kong where our senior citizens will always be cared for in times of medical need. His special interest is in the facilitation of healthcare for the elderly, and the development of policies that would enable our older citizens to maintain their independence and enjoy a good quality of life. In realizing this vision, as in his public service so far, Dr Leong's contribution is manifold, and his energy inexhaustible. He will, no doubt, have much more to contribute to the medical profession and to the Hong Kong community in the years to come.

Mr Chancellor, in recognition of his contributions to the medical profession and the community of Hong Kong, it is my honour and privilege to present Leong Che Hung for the award of the Degree of Doctor of Science, honoris causa.