Hong Kong specialist doctor institute seeks additional seats on Medical Council

Academy of Medicine calls to question balance of views on city’s medical watchdog

PUBLISHED : Monday, 06 March, 2017, 12:18am
UPDATED : Monday, 06 March, 2017, 12:18am

The city’s leading specialist doctor training institution wants to increase its standing on Hong Kong’s Medical Council in order to strengthen its role of monitoring medical standards.

Dr Luk Hung-to, the representative of the Academy of Medicine on a tripartite platform that discusses reform proposals for the Medical Council, called for the added representation ahead of the platform’s fourth and final meeting to be held tomorrow.

“As the academy is a statutory body that assesses specialists and establishes standards of continuing medical education, we feel responsible and our representation in the Medical Council should be enhanced,” Luk said.

The government’s reform proposal for the Medical Council, which failed to pass in the Legislative Council last July, seeks to add another four lay members to the council, bringing its total size to 32 people.

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Among the 24 current doctor members, 14 were elected while 10 were appointed by the chief executive following nominations from five different medical institutions, including the academy.

The academy, which currently has two seats on the council, has called for an additional three.

“Whether we should add extra seats to doctors…or reallocate the current 24 doctors seats to enhance our representation, we have not discussed which would be a better option,” Luk said.

Citing the academy's 7,000 fellows and 2,000 presently training doctors, and the fact that independent doctors and the Medical Association both have seven seats, Luk questioned the balance of views on the council.

“Would it be better if there could be a balance among independent doctors, Medical Association and the academy?” he said.

Tim Pang Hung-cheong, a patients rights advocate from the Society for Community Organisation, said redistributing existing seats was preferred.

“Would it be possible to redistribute the seats between the association and the academy?” Pang said.

Dr Leung Ka-lau, representing the Medical Association, said if more doctor member seats were appointed, the same had to be given to elected doctor members.