Modern psychiatry in Hong Kong began in 1948, when a British-trained psychiatrist Dr. P M Yap was appointed medical superintendent of the mental hospital in Hong Kong. Prior to this it was the asylum-era dating from the opening of a temporary lunatic asylum in 1875 with merely custodial care for the mentally ill. Through Dr. Yap’s effort we began to have in the 1960s a comprehensive range of psychiatric facilities including the newly built Castle Peak Hospital and Yaumatei Psychiatric Centre as well as more psychiatric and allied health staff.

The Hong Kong Psychiatric Association was founded on 28 July 1967. The objectives were to promote psychiatry in Hong Kong and to foster relationship with national and international psychiatric organisations. At the start the size of the membership was no more than 30. Soon in April 1968, it became a member society of the World Psychiatric Association.

In the early days, the training of psychiatry was carried out by the Government Mental Health Service mostly through in-service training. Subsequently, the two university departments of Psychiatry joined in and together a coordinating committee was formed, which later became the Psychiatric Training Committee. By the mid-1980s, a two-year training programme was established locally, to be vetted and accredited by the Royal College of Psychiatrists .

Following the publication of the Report of the Working Party on Postgraduate Medical Education in 1988, a Preparatory Committee for the establishment of the Hong Kong Academy of Medicine was formed, in which representatives from all specialties of medicine participated. The Hong Kong Psychiatric Association, by virtue of its unique status at the time, was represented in the Preparatory Committee and thus later became one of the constituent colleges of the Academy since its establishment by statue in 1993. In this way the Hong Kong College of Psychiatrists was formed.

Since then, the College has been playing a key role in postgraduate psychiatric training, holding Fellowship Examination and conferring our own Fellows.



The objectives of the College are:

  • To promote the study and advancement of the science and practice of psychiatry and ancillary sciences and branches of medicine;
  • To further public education therein;
  • To contribute to the improvement of mental health care for Hong Kong citizens through the provision of specially trained psychiatrists.

We are a constituent College of the Hong Kong Academy of Medicine




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