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 Tripartite Platform to enhance operation of Medical Council of Hong Kong holds its first meeting (with photos)
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To enhance the operation of the Medical Council of Hong Kong, the Government has set up a tripartite platform comprising doctors, representatives of patients’ interests and consumers’ interests, and Legislative Councillors to promote understanding and communication, as well as provide views and deliberate on amendment proposals to the Medical Registration Ordinance (MRO). The Tripartite Platform held its first meeting today (November 15).

Matters discussed at the meeting include the composition of the Medical Council, the current situation of its complaint investigation and disciplinary inquiry mechanism, as well as major issues and concerns raised by the previous term Legislative Council (LegCo) Members and the general public over the Medical Registration (Amendment) Bill 2016.

Members also discussed the work plan of the Platform and agreed to meet once a month in the next three months. The Platform will continue to discuss the complaint investigation and disciplinary inquiry mechanism at the meeting next month, taking reference of the relevant mechanisms of other jurisdictions. Members will then discuss possible amendment proposals to the MRO at the two meetings in January and February next year.

"The Government has provided additional financial provision of $6.2 million to the Medical Council to enhance the efficiency of complaint handling through administrative measures as far as possible within the remit of the existing legislation. However, constrained by the existing legislation, it takes legislative amendments to substantially reduce the processing time of complaint investigations and disciplinary hearings," a spokesman for the Food and Health Bureau said.

The spokesman pointed out that more than 950 complaints have been accumulated so far. It is estimated that it would take about six years on average to complete one complaint case from receipt of the complaint to disciplinary inquiry, he added.

“In response to the demand of the community for expediting the complaint handling process, and enhancing the accountability, credibility and transparency of the Council, the Government plans to re-introduce the Medical Registration (Amendment) Bill into the LegCo as soon as possible in the first half of next year,” he said.

Convened by the Permanent Secretary for Food and Health (Health), the Platform consists of 21 members. The medical sector, groups advocating the rights of patients and consumers, and the Legislative Council each have six representatives in the platform.

The membership list of the Tripartite Platform is as follows:

Convenor:

Permanent Secretary for Food and Health (Health)

Members:

Mr Tommy Cheung Yu-yan (Legislative Council)
Mr Chan Han-pan (Legislative Council)
Ms Alice Mak Mei-kuen (Legislative Council)
Dr Kwok Ka-ki (Legislative Council)
Dr Helena Wong Pik-wan (Legislative Council)
Dr Pierre Chan (Legislative Council)
Professor Joseph Lau Wan-yee (Medical Council of Hong Kong)
Dr Luk Hung-to (Hong Kong Academy of Medicine)
Dr Leung Ka-lau (Hong Kong Medical Association)
Dr Yeung Chiu-fat (Hong Kong Doctors Union)
Dr James Fung Tak-kun (Hong Kong Public Doctors’ Association)
Dr Au Yiu-kai
Mr Yuen Siu-lam (Hong Kong Alliance of Patients’ Organizations)
Mr Alex Lam Chi-yau (Hong Kong Patients’ Voices)
Mr Ng Hang-sau (Hong Kong Society for Rehabilitation)
Mr Tim Pang Hung-cheong (Society for Community Organization)
Mr Simon Chui Chun-king (Consumer Council)
Ms Lisa Yip Sau-wah (Public Complaints Committee of the Hospital Authority)

Ex-officio Members:

Head, Healthcare Planning and Development Office, Food and Health Bureau
Secretary, Medical Council of Hong Kong

The terms of reference of the Tripartite Platform are enhancing communication and promoting understanding on proposals aiming to enhance the credibility, transparency and efficiency of the Medical Council in terms of composition, complaint investigation and disciplinary inquiry mechanism; and offering views, deliberating on and seeking to forge common ground to the largest extent possible on proposed legislative changes to the composition and operation of the Medical Council having regard to prevailing international practices and unique local circumstances.

Information and discussion papers of the Platform are available at the website of the Food and Health Bureau (http://www.fhb.gov.hk/en/press_and_publications/otherinfo/161100_tripartite_platform/index.html).

Ends/Tuesday, November 15, 2016
Issued at HKT 21:14
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