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Public Health Group commences five-day meeting


The Public Health Group of the SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) Expert Committee in its first of five days of work in Hong Kong will meet Hospital Authority (HA) and Department of Health officials today (July 7) to obtain an overview of the outbreak of the SARS epidemic in Hong Kong.

Chairing this morning's meeting, Professor Sian Griffiths who is currently the President of the Faculty of Public Health Medicine of the Royal Colleges of Physicians in the United Kingdom, said their work in the coming week was to look at the SARS epidemic in Hong Kong, to learn lessons through listening and to make recommendations for future emergent diseases.

"It is very much about for listening, learning some lessons and helping our colleagues in Hong Kong with a greater understanding of what it is," she said.

Professor Griffiths added that it was not just here in Hong Kong that lessons should be learned, there were also lessons for the international community to learn for the future.

Group members met with the Permanent Secretary for Health, Welfare and Food, Mrs Carrie Yau, who led an interdepartmental action coordinating committee during the SARS outbreak.

They were also briefed by HA's Chief Executive Dr William Ho on the management of SARS in public hospitals.

In the afternoon, the Group will meet with the Director of Health, Dr Margaret Chan, to learn about the health control measures implemented during the SARS period and the department's contact tracing work.

Tomorrow, the Group will meet with a number of hospital chiefs to understand the outbreak of SARS cases in individual public hospitals. It will also meet with Department of Health officials again to know more about the peculiar situation associated with the outbreak of SARS cases in Amoy Gardens.

The Public Health Group will focus on the public health issues of the SARS epidemic, including preventive and control measures.

It will join the Hospital Management and Administration Group of the SARS Expert Committee in a plenary session in August to deliberate overall and overlapping issues.

End/Monday, July 7, 2003


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