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SFH to attend World Health Assembly

     The Secretary for Food and Health, Dr York Chow, will attend the 65th World Health Assembly (WHA) of the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva from May 21-23 (Geneva time).

     Before attending the WHA, Dr Chow will visit London and attend the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) meeting in Paris.

     On the morning of May 17 (London time), Dr Chow will start his busy schedule in London by having a meeting with the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs of the United Kingdom (UK), Lord Taylor. They will discuss various issues including food safety, zoonotic diseases, animal welfare, and the development of farming and fishery industries in the two places. Dr Chow will then meet the former Secretary of State for Health, Mr Alan Milburn, to draw lessons from the implementation of healthcare reform there.

     Joined by the Permanent Secretary for Food and Health (Food), Mrs Marion Lai, Dr Chow will tour the Roman Road market in the afternoon to study the design of local open-air hawker stalls. They will also meet the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Public Health, Ms Anne Milton, to exchange views on nutrition labeling of infant formula and baby foods, as well as other public health issues. Mrs Lai will take the opportunity to meet with representatives from the Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, a local cat-and-dog welfare concern group, to learn more about their methods of handling stray cats and dogs, as well as welfare for dogs and cats.

     The next day, Dr Chow will hold a breakfast meeting with representatives from the Steering Committee on the Strategic Review on Healthcare Manpower Planning and Professional Development. He will also meet medical professionals from the British Medical Association (BMA), the Care Quality Commission (CQC), and Monitor, an organisation responsible for monitoring fees charged by medical services providers under the UK's National Health Service (NHS), to exchange views on healthcare manpower planning and professional development, adult care services, as well as other medical and health issues.

     As an independent institution, the BMA is a local doctors' association with over two-thirds of practicing UK doctors in membership. The BMA seeks to protect the interests of medical professionals and to enhance the quality of healthcare.

     The CQC, the independent regulator of health and adult social care services in England, administers a registration scheme under which providers of services such as hospital services, residential care, personal care and nursing care are required to meet a set of essential quality and safety standards in order to qualify for registration and commence operation. The CQC conducts a regular review of service providers against the essential standards of quality and safety and disseminates the review results to service users to enable them to make informed choice of service providers. Monitor works together with the CQC to handle licensing issue for service providers under the NHS.

     Dr Chow will leave London for Paris on May 19 to attend the OIE meeting. That evening, he will meet members of the China delegation attending the OIE meeting, including the Vice Minister of Agriculture, Mr Gao Hongbin, and the Director General, Veterinary Bureau, Ministry of Agriculture, Mr Zhang Zhongqiu.

     Dr Chow will attend the opening ceremony and other sessions of the OIE meeting on May 20 (Paris time).

     After Paris, Dr Chow will head for Geneva where he will attend the 65th WHA from May 21-23 (Geneva time) as a member of the China delegation. Dr Margaret Chan was nominated by the WHO Executive Board in January this year to serve a second term in office as the Director-General of WHO. The appointment will be made at this WHA.

     Dr Chow will leave for Hong Kong on May 24 (Geneva time).

Ends/Wednesday, May 16, 2012
Issued at HKT 14:30


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