Income threshold for health-care scheme revised upward
The Bauhinia Foundation Research Centre, a think-tank close to the government, has revised the income threshold for contributions to its proposed health-care financing scheme from HK$5,000 to HK$10,000. It believes the new suggestion, which will exclude the low-income group from its mandatory medical savings account scheme, can reduce the opposition. In its revised proposal, the centre also suggests that people can use the account balance to buy not only medical services, but also medical insurance plans.
Professionals to be briefed on mainland policy initiatives
A high-level professional forum on July 12 will explore the challenges and opportunities of the mainland's opening market. Paul Chan Mo-po, chairman of the forum's organising committee, founded by 10 members of the Hong Kong Coalition of Professional Services, said central government officials would brief the 300-strong group on Beijing's policy initiatives to support the development of professional services.
Wife of detained journalist seeks medical parole for him
The wife of jailed journalist Ching Cheong sent a letter to visiting President Hu Jintao yesterday pleading for a medical parole for her husband. Ching's wife, journalist Mary Lau Man-yee also sent a letter to Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen asking him to discuss the case with the president. In the first letter, Ms Lau mentioned the worsening heart problem of her husband and the stress he suffered in prison. A third letter addressed to the president was sent by the Ching Cheong Concern Group. 'There are times when Ching's heart stops after every three to four beats. This happens to him every day,' the group's letter said.
No Beijing trip for Democrat
The Democratic Party criticised Beijing for rejecting the party's Kowloon City district councillor, Chan Ka-wai, for a visit to the capital scheduled for August. Mr Chan, a deputy chairman of the council, was notified yesterday that immigration authorities on the mainland had turned down his application to go to Beijing for the national education programme. Party chairman Albert Ho Chun-yan said the decision had gone against Beijing's policy to promote a harmonious society.