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LegCo to debate motion on enhancing railway service in Northwest New Territories

The following is issued on behalf of the Legislative Council Secretariat:

     The Legislative Council (LegCo) will hold a meeting on Wednesday (December 11) at 11am in the Chamber of the LegCo Complex. During the meeting, Members will debate a motion on enhancing the railway service in the Northwest New Territories.

     The motion, to be moved by Mr Leung Che-cheung, states: "That, while the population in the Northwest New Territories increases rapidly, the existing railway and transport link in the district are unable to meet the residents' demand, and with a number of new development plans in the district, the support of railway infrastructure is hence required; the Government has put forward a number of proposals on railway development in the 'Railway Development Strategy 2000', but the implementation dates of some proposals have yet to be set; in this connection, this Council urges the Government to, for the purpose of dovetailing with the existing and future development needs, expeditiously implement the construction of the Northern Link, the Hong Kong-Shenzhen Western Express Line, the Coastal Railway between Tuen Mun and Tsuen Wan, the Tuen Mun South Extension and the Hung Shui Kiu Station, and extend the Light Rail line to Tuen Mun Area 54, so as to cope with the demand of the residents in the Northwest New Territories for the railway service; the Government should also request the MTR Corporation Limited to expeditiously adopt effective measures to comprehensively improve the existing West Rail and Light Rail services, including reducing fare, increasing service frequencies, increasing and procuring more train cars, improving station facilities, and enhancing the Light Rail system and other connecting transportation arrangements, etc."

     Dr Kwok Ka-ki, Ir Dr Lo Wai-kwok, Mr Frankie Yick, Ms Alice Mak, Mr Michael Tien, Mr Sin Chung-kai and Mr Albert Chan will move separate amendments to Mr Leung Che-cheung's motion.

     Ms Alice Mak will move a motion on stepping up the promotion of primary healthcare development and improving healthcare services for elderly people. The motion states: "That, as the population ageing in Hong Kong society has become increasingly serious, a heavy burden is expected to be imposed on the local healthcare system; and since primary healthcare, as the healthcare system's first contact point with patients and at the same time assumes the important functions of disease prevention, patients diversion, and promoting people's health, the quality and quantity of its service will become more important; yet, in the past, the Government allocated very limited resources to primary healthcare, resulting in the slow development of primary healthcare in Hong Kong and making it difficult to cope with the major challenges to the local healthcare system brought about by population ageing; in this connection, this Council urges the Government to take measures to step up the promotion of primary healthcare development, and accord priority to upgrading the quality and quantity of primary healthcare services for elderly people, so as to properly prepare for the heavy healthcare burden brought about by population ageing; the relevant measures should include:

(1) to review and improve the Elderly Health Care Voucher Scheme (HCVS), conduct a study on the lowering of eligible age for applying for HCVS, and streamline the administrative procedures, so as to encourage more healthcare service providers to participate in HCVS;

(2) by making reference to HCVS, to introduce 'elderly dental care voucher'; and at the same time, to review and enhance the quality and quantity of the existing public dental services, achieve the establishment of public dental clinics in each of the 18 districts of Hong Kong in the long run, and implement a universal dental care service scheme;

(3) to examine and enhance the existing Chinese medicine healthcare services of the public sector, and set up additional Chinese medicine clinics in various districts, so as to meet the increasing demand for Chinese medicine services; and, in the long run, to study the setting up of a Chinese medicine hospital for training and attracting Chinese medicine talents, so as to promote the popularisation and development of Chinese medicine healthcare in Hong Kong;

(4) to enhance the existing services of elderly health centres, at the same time proactively study the setting up of additional community health centres in various districts to upgrade the comprehensiveness of services, and enhance the services of chronic disease management and integrated mental health, etc., with a view to promoting the development of primary healthcare and alleviating the pressure on hospital services; and

(5) to study the introduction of carer subsidies to encourage family members to discharge the responsibility of caring for the health of elderly people, and increase the number of community nurses so as to enhance home care for elderly people and chronic patients."

     Dr Kwok Ka-ki, Mr Albert Ho, Dr Priscilla Leung, Mr Steven Ho, Dr Fernando Cheung, Dr Leung Ka-lau and Mr Frankie Yick will move separate amendments to Ms Alice Mak's motion.

     Mr Andrew Leung will move a proposed resolution under section 34(4) of the Interpretation and General Clauses Ordinance to seek the Council's approval to extend the period for amending the Waste Disposal (Designated Waste Disposal Facility) (Amendment) Regulation 2013 and the Waste Disposal (Refuse Transfer Station) (Amendment) Regulation 2013 laid on the table of LegCo on December 4, 2013, to the meeting of January 22, 2014.

     Meanwhile, the Chief Secretary for Administration will present the Government Minute in response to the 25th Annual Report of The Ombudsman 2013 and address the Council.

     During the meeting, Members will also ask the Government 22 questions on various policy areas, six of which require oral replies.

     The agenda of the above meeting can be obtained via the LegCo website ( Please note that the agenda is subject to change, and the latest information about the agenda could be found in the LegCo website.

     Members of the public are welcome to observe the proceedings of the meeting from the public galleries of the Chamber of the LegCo Complex. They may reserve seats by calling 3919 3399 during office hours. Seats will be allocated on a first-come-first-served basis. Members of the public can also watch or listen the meeting via the web broadcast system on the LegCo website.

Ends/Monday, December 9, 2013
Issued at HKT 18:30


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