DOCTORS' misconduct hearings are to be opened up under new measures to ensure members of the public sit in on every session, legislators heard yesterday. Medical Council chairman Professor Rosie Young Tze-tze said four extra non-professionals would join the council's hearing committee. This would make it possible for at least one lay member to attend disciplinary hearings. Currently, there is only one non-professional in the council, who is unable to attend all the hearings. Under the Medical Registration (Amendment) Bill, now being scrutinised by legislators, the number of lay council members will be increased from one to two. The other 24 members will come from the medical profession. 'Together with the two lay members in the council, there will be six lay members for the hearings,' Professor Young said. She raised no objection to the bill requiring at least one non-professional to be present at each hearing. Under present arrangements, a quorum of three is sufficient for a hearing, with no special requirement that a lay member is present. The council also agreed to outline reasons for not proceeding with hearings and to publish regular reports on the hearing committee's operations, said Professor Young. Hong Kong Patients' Association spokesman Yung Wai-mui said more could be done to increase the transparency of disciplinary proceedings. Ms Yung said it was important at least one lay member was present at each hearing. 'Lay members can reflect public views,' she said. 'If the council is governed by the professional members, its integrity and justice will be adversely affected.' Medical sector legislator Dr Leong Che-hung said: 'I think to have a lay member in a hearing is good for the council as the public can learn about its operation.'