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LCQ17: Appointments to the councils and board

     Following is a question by the Dr Hon Joseph Lee and a written reply by the Secretary for Food and Health, Dr York Chow, in the Legislative Council today (November 11):


     Regarding appointments to the Supplementary Medical Professions Council, Nursing Council of Hong Kong, Chiropractors Council and Pharmacy and Poisons Board which were set up by the Government, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the respective years of service and titles of the various members who currently serve on the aforesaid Councils/Board (set out in table form), and the reasons why some of these members are re-appointed as chairmen or members of such Councils/Board or some members concerned have served for more than six years; and

(b) whether the Government has considered returning some members of these Councils/Board by direct election, so as to enhance the credibility of the aforesaid Councils/Board; if it has, of the relevant details and the specific timetable; if not, the reasons for that?



(a) The appointments to the aforesaid Councils/Board are made in accordance with the Government's general guidelines for appointment of members to advisory and statutory bodies.  The basic principle adopted in making appointments should be to appoint individuals on their merits so as to secure the services of the most suitable persons to meet the requirements of such bodies.  In the process of making appointments, factors such as the candidate's ability, expertise, experience, and integrity will be taken into account.  Information on the respective years of service and titles of the various members serving on the aforesaid Councils/Board is at Annex.

     Among these Councils/Board, the Nursing Council of Hong Kong has one member whose appointment has been repeated with total years of service exceeding six years, whereas the Pharmacy and Poisons Board has one member who has served for more than six years and two members whose appointments have been repeated.  For details, please refer to the notes of the Councils/Board concerned in Annex.

(b) Since establishment, the aforesaid Councils/Board have been operated under the principle of professional autonomy along with a fair degree of lay participation.  These Councils/Board comprise members not only from their respective professions but also from different sectors such as the academic sector, public service and lay public, so as to draw reference from other sectors' experience in their regulatory work.  In making an appointment, the Secretary for Food and Health would also take into account an individual's ability, experience, integrity and commitment to serving the community so as to make suitable appointment.

     Except the Nursing Council of Hong Kong, other Councils/Board have no plans to return some of their members by direct election.

     Regarding the Nursing Council of Hong Kong, Section 3(2)(ca) of the Nursing Registration Ordinance provides that the Council should include six members who are registered or enrolled nurses and returned by election.  As for the specific timetable, we need to fully consult the profession and the community before the introduction of direct election as it will involve amendment to the legislation and require additional resources and administrative support, which may have a bearing on the professional registration fees.

Ends/Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Issued at HKT 15:40


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