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LCQ17: school nurses

     Following is a question by the Hon Joseph Lee Kok-long and a written reply by the Secretary for Education, Mr Michael Suen, in the Legislative Council today (December 10):


     A study conducted by a university has found that the stationing of school nurses helps to raise pupils' awareness of hygiene and healthy eating.  In this connection, will the Government inform this Council whether:

(a) there are school nurses stationed in government, aided and caput primary and secondary schools at present; if so, of a breakdown of the number of schools by the number of stationed school nurses; if not, the reasons for that; and

(b) it has any plan to implement the "One School One Nurse" scheme in all kindergartens, primary and secondary schools in Hong Kong; if it has, of the details; if not, the reasons for that, and whether it will consider providing grants to all kindergartens in Hong Kong
for employing school nurses?



(a) Among public sector schools in Hong Kong, only special schools for children with physical disability, intellectual disability and visual impairment cum intellectual disability are provided with school nurses to take care of studentsˇ¦ special medical needs and personal hygiene.  At present, 52 school nurses are provided for 49 such special schools, among which three schools are each provided with two nurses and the remaining 46 are provided with one nurse each.

     Generally speaking, health promotion services in schools are provided through the Student Health Service Centres of the Department of Health (DH).  To safeguard students' health, school health inspectors of the DH pay regular visits to schools to ensure that their environmental hygiene and sanitary facilities meet the requirements of the Education Ordinance.  Furthermore, in accordance with Regulation 55 of the Education Regulations, at least two teachers in every school should be trained in administering first aid to ensure that students are properly taken care of in case of emergency.

     To promote a health-conscious culture in schools and raise students' awareness of hygiene and healthy eating, schools, the Education Bureau (EDB), the DH, other government departments and non-government organisations (NGOs) have been organising various activities and providing relevant services.  Please see Annex for details.  

(b) As mentioned above, the provision of student health services and promotion of a healthy lifestyle among students are jointly undertaken by school and non-school personnel, government departments and NGOs.  It demonstrates the effectiveness of cross-sector collaboration and full participation of schools.  Taking into account the priorities for the deployment of education and medical resources, the supply of nurses and other factors, the Government does not have any plan to provide primary and secondary schools with a stationed nurse.

     As for pre-primary children, the Maternal and Child Health Centres under the DH provide a comprehensive range of disease prevention and health promotion services for children from birth to 5 years of age through the Integrated Child Health and Development Programme.  The Programme covers parenting, immunisation and health and developmental surveillance.  Furthermore, "physical fitness and health" is one of the Key Learning Areas in the pre-primary curriculum, under which teachers will help children develop health and safety awareness through daily activities.  According to the Operation Manual for Pre-primary Institutions published by the EDB, pre-primary institutions are required to observe the children in school every day.  If a child is found to exhibit symptom of illness, he/she will be isolated from other children immediately and the childˇ¦s parents will be notified and requested to take the child home for rest and medical treatment.  Based on the current needs and priorities for the deployment of resources, the Government has no plan to provide kindergartens with school nurses or grants for employing nurses.

Ends/Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Issued at HKT 15:16


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