Lawmaker demands regulation
A lawmaker is calling for regulation of the growing private cord blood banks in Hong Kong.
Kwok Ka-ki, chairman of the Legislative Council's health services panel, suggested a licensing system be introduced for the blood banks to ensure their facilities and technicians meet standards required to protect consumers' interests.
At present, there is no legislation under the Department of Health on the regulation, registration and monitoring of private or public cord blood banks in Hong Kong.
The department has admitted that there were no inspections of facilities or monitoring of the quality of services.
The Supplementary Medical Professions Ordinance requires at least one director of a bank to be in the profession, but Dr Kwok said that was not enough.
Raymond Liang Hin-suen, head of the University of Hong Kong's bone marrow transplant centre, also expressed concern over the medical viability of cord blood after a long period of storage as it 'is still something very new'.