Transcript of remarks by CE at media session before ExCo meeting (with video)
Reporter: Mrs Lam, about the Medical Registration Ordinance, could you tell us first now, with the new changes, how confident are you that it will not meet with the strong opposition that it's been faced before? And also, about the new method of delivering the Policy Address, could you tell us why you've decided to not read out the full report, the full Policy Address?
Chief Executive: Well, about the presentation of my maiden Policy Address tomorrow, I have taken on board recommendations from members of the Executive Council. They are my very senior advisors, so they took the view that instead of reading word by word a very lengthy Policy Address that I should instead use this occasion to talk to the people of Hong Kong about my philosophy and the major initiatives that are contained in the Policy Address, not only for the next 12 months but perhaps for the five-year term of me as a Chief Executive. So I thought this was the very good idea and I was quite used to talking directly with people, so I have decided to accept this piece of advice. So tomorrow in the Legislative Council Chamber, I will not be reading the Policy Address text, but instead I will deliver a statement to introduce my first Policy Address, and I hope this will be welcomed by the Legislative Council members and by the public at large. But of course, I stand ready to explain thereafter all the proposals and initiatives in the Policy Address. That's why I have extended the time, the duration, for the press conference, so that journalists will have more time to ask me questions about the Policy Address.
As for the Medical Registration Ordinance, this is a very important piece of legislative amendments, aiming to do a few things. One is to speed up the process for addressing complaints, naturally complaints about doctors, addressed to the Medical Council by speeding up the preliminary investigation, disciplinary inquiry and so on. The second purpose is to extend the maximum duration for limited registration from one year to three years, so as to make it easier for the Hospital Authority to engage overseas trained doctors to work in the Hospital Authority to relieve the workload pressure. And thirdly is to expand the composition of the Medical Council to bring in more lay members to reflect the views of society. But in the last two years, it has not been very successful, mainly because some of the doctors' associations are not happy about the changes in the composition and they strongly requested that we should try to find a way that will maintain the current so-called ratio of elected doctors versus others on a one-to-one basis.
We actually have come up with various propositions including the four new lay members will not be appointed by myself as the CE. I am happy with these four additional new lay members to be nominated by the Consumer Council and elected by the patients' groups. But apparently still this does not meet with the satisfaction of the doctors' associations, so after a few months of hard work by the Secretary for Food and Health and her colleagues, we have now come up with a proposition or a revised proposal which I hope, and I am pretty confident that it will meet with the requests of various sectors, including the Hong Kong Academy of Medicine, because the Hong Kong Academy of Medicine was also not very happy their number of seats being maintained at only two seats out of the expanded 32 seats and they also don't want the current two seats opened up for election, so we have come up with this revised proposal. Thank you.
(Please also refer to the Chinese portion of the transcript.)
Ends/Tuesday, October 10, 2017
Issued at HKT 14:30
Issued at HKT 14:30
Audio / Video
CE meets the media