Think-tank seeks reform of health care

PUBLISHED : Friday, 17 February, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 17 February, 2006, 12:00am

A community think-tank has been set up to press the government for health-care reform.

The Health-care Policy Forum comprises legislators, Patients' Rights Association and welfare sector representatives, academics, doctors and members of political groups.

Reforms have been in the pipeline for 13 years, but forum members believe the government will not make any big decisions on the 'socially and politically sensitive' subject until the next chief executive is in place.

One member, Peter Yuen Pok-man, professor of health services management in Polytechnic University's department of management, said there was an urgent need for a concrete reform plan given the worsening quality of services in public hospitals.

'There have been several documents on health-care reform in the past 10-odd years but we are still in the status quo without any major changes.

'However, the community has spotted that our [public] health-care services are getting worse. So more people start to see the need for reform to manage the financial problems faced by the Hospital Authority,' Professor Yuen said.

The forum's convenor, George Cautherley, said it was timely to set up a think-tank before another consultation report was released in the summer.

The mission of the forum is to help the public understand the issues, listen to people's concerns and to propose options for reform.