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SFH on Mainland women giving birth in Hong Kong

     Following is a transcript of remarks (English portion) by the Secretary for Food and Health, Dr York Chow, at a media session at the lobby of West Wing, Central Government Offices, Tamar, this afternoon (April 17):

Reporter: Does the Government agree or disagree with Chief Executive-elect C Y Leung's saying that the delivery quota for both Mainland parents should be abolished? Is C Y slapping the face of the current Government?

Secretary for Food and Health: Not really because this issue would cross over two terms of Government. You know that we are determining the quota for 2013. Because of the time of pregnancy, we need to make certain decisions early this year, in the second quarter. In the last two weeks, we have been communicating with the Chief Executive-elect and told him what our approach would be. Of course, he has his own assessment that perhaps without knowing the details of the impact of these babies born from both Mainland parents on Hong Kong's social welfare, education and medical services, he is reluctant to decide the specific (delivery) quota for this type of baby. We should give him some time to assess the situation and decide whether he would allow (delivery) quota at all in the year 2013. Since there are still six months between the start of the next term of Government (July 1, 2012) and January 2013, there is plenty of time for the next term of Government to make decisions and announce them before the coming of January 2013.          

Reporter: Do you think the quota should be abolished?

Secretary for Food and Health: According to the Chief Executive-elect, he cannot decide on the (delivery) quota prior to a full assessment of the situation. In a sense, we have to give time to the next term of Government to make their own assessment. We do not like to announce preemptively the quota if that is something the next term of Government intends to do.

Reporter: How about the current talk with the private hospitals?

Secretary for Food and Health: We have been talking continuously with the private hospitals and shall be continued with that. As I said earlier on, we are sympathetic towards those Mainland mothers who are married to Hong Kong men because eventually their children might become Hong Kong citizens. We shall give priority to them to deliver their babies in Hong Kong.
(Please also refer to the Chinese portion of the transcript.)

Ends/Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Issued at HKT 19:56


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