The idea of forming a hepatobiliary/pancreatic association in Singapore was first mooted in 2008 by a group of hepatobiliary surgeons following the official formation in the region of the Asia Pacific Hepatopancreatobiliary Association (AP-HPBA). At that time, the number of specialists declaring to be in this field was not large and thus the general interest among the medical fraternity was not great and eventually the formation was put on hold.
In October 2011, Singapore was invited to bid to be the organizing country for the 2015 AP-HPBA meeting. It was an honor for all of us but the requirement we needed to fulfill was to have a society in Singapore comprising doctors with an interest in this field to represent the organizing country. This became a strong impetus to re-look at forming an Association.
At the same time in Singapore, this field of hepatopancreatobiliary medicine is maturing. Many specialists have declared their interest in this field and much progress has been made in terms of disease management, training and research and development. With this development, Singapore became the hub in the region in the management and study of complex liver, pancreas and biliary diseases. Doctors, researchers and healthcare administrators in the country are beginning to identify this field of medicine as an entity. A few began to develop the idea of how we can propagate and share new knowledge and management strategies to everyone interested in this field of practice in Singapore so that everyone can progress together. We also realized that to continue to progress, we need to adopt a multi-disciplinary approach.
With these early objectives in mind, a number of surgeons among us began working towards the Association’s formation. After some preliminary discussion, the first major gathering was held on 13th June 2012. More meetings were then held for the constitution drafting and goals setting.
The objectives of the Association, as stipulated in our constitution, are:
- To be the professional body this sets standards and guidelines for members in the management of Hepatopancreatobiliary (HPB) diseases and disorders in Singapore;
- Committing to excellence in patient care and devoting to elevating standards of care of HPB diseases in Singapore;
- Encouraging the recruitment, mentorship, training and career development of individuals interested in HPB disorders;
- Embracing a multidisciplinary approach to treatment of HPB disorders and fostering collegial relationship;
- Encouraging membership by qualified candidates interested in HPB disorders including anaesthetists, hepatologists, gastroenterologists, radiologists, oncologists, surgeons, transplant physicians, nurses, allied health professionals, and investigators;
- Committing to the highest ethical standards in research, education, organizational operation and interaction with industry.
The founding executive council was elected on 27th July 2012 and the Association was officially registered on 3rd August 2012 with a founding membership of 67 members from various fields and from all hospitals in Singapore.