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SARS Expert Committee convenes plenary session


The SARS Expert Committee will begin its week-long plenary meeting tomorrow (August 13) in Hong Kong to deliberate issues identified in the SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) outbreak and formulate ideas for their final recommendations to the Chief Executive.

Comprising 11 international, mainland and local experts, the committee was appointed by the Chief Executive to carry out a detailed and expert study into the SARS outbreak, and to make recommendations on areas of improvement so that Hong Kong's public health system could be better prepared in the future for a possible resurgence of SARS and other infectious diseases.

To facilitate study, committee members were formed into the Hospital Management and Administration Group chaired by Sir Cyril Chantler, and the Public Health Group chaired by Professor Sian Griffiths.

Both groups had convened its own meetings in June and July respectively to discuss issues pertaining to their areas of study.

Under co-chairmanship of Sir Cyril and Prof Griffiths, the full committee will meet in plenary session starting from tomorrow until August 19 to further their study into the SARS outbreak and to deliberate overall and interfacing issues.

During the session, members will continue to probe the SARS incident and deliberate on issues identified in the first two rounds of meetings. They are also expected to ask the health authorities to clarify outstanding issues and doubts in the various stages of development of the outbreak.

The experts will also meet with infected public health care workers and frontline journalists to learn about their firsthand experience at the forefront of the battlefield. Besides, they will meet with patients groups, health care sector representatives and legislators to heed their views on the government's management of the epidemic.

Members will later engage in intense discussion sessions to formulate their ideas for making recommendations.

The committee's recommendations will be put forth in a report for submission by the two co-chairs to the Chief Executive in September.

Following is a membership list of the SARS Expert Committee:



Sir Cyril Chantler (Hospital Management and Administration)

Chairman, Board of the Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Trust, UK

Prof Sian Griffiths (Public Health)

President, Faculty of Public Health Medicine, The Royal Colleges of Physicians, UK

Hospital Management and Administration Group


Dr Sherene Devanesen

President, Royal Australasian College of Medical Administrators, Australia

Mr John Wyn Owen

Secretary, The Nuffield Trust, UK

Dr Tang Xiaoping

Director, No. 8 People Hospital in Guangzhou, China

Prof Rosie Young

Former Chairman, Medical Council, Hong Kong

Prof Zhong Nanshan

Head, Institute for Respiratory Disease in Guangzhou, China

Public Health Group


Dr Meirion Evans

Senior Lecturer, Department of Epidemiology, Statistics and Public Health, University of Wales College of Medicine, UK

Prof Harvey Fineberg

President, Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences, USA

Dr Jeffrey Koplan

Vice President for Academic Health Affairs, Emory University, USA

Prof Lee Shiu-hung

Emeritus Professor of Community Medicine, Chinese University of Hong Kong

End/Tuesday, August 12, 2003


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