Doctors urge council chairwoman to step down in row over expulsion

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 08 July, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 08 July, 2009, 12:00am

A group of doctors has urged Medical Council chairwoman Felice Lieh Mak to step down after the Medical Association president was expelled from the council over a false declaration he made when running for the post of council member.

Kwok Ka-ki, a former medical sector legislator and member of the Action Group on Medical Policy, said Professor Lieh Mak was not competent for the post of chairwoman as she was appointed and not directly elected, which deviated from the council's mission of being independent. The group urged the council to improve its independence and become more representative.

Only seven of the 28 members are directly elected by about 11,000 registered doctors in the city; the others were appointed by the government and bodies such as universities and the Medical Association. Dr Kwok said this was different from other professional organisations such as the Institute of Surveyors and the Bar Association, where committee members were all directly elected.

The group's appeal came after Medical Association president Tse Hung-hing was expelled from the Medical Council for not mentioning a HK$1,000 fine for careless driving on his nomination form when he ran for the post of council member via direct election last August.

He had reported his driving fine to the council the previous month.

Its rules state that no one should run in an election if he or she has been convicted of any offence punishable by imprisonment, which includes careless driving.

However, such rules only apply to elected members. The association said it was a breach of Basic Law Article 26, which stated that all Hong Kong residents had the right to vote and the right to stand for election.

The association is seeking legal advice and considering a judicial review. The association's lawyer said it would probably succeed, Dr Tse said.