Kemal Bokhary
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Gaps must be filled by final Bokhary report

AS a medical practitioner, I found Mr Justice Bokhary's interim report on the Lan Kwai Fong disaster fell short of my expectations.

The report focuses on crowd control and diversion in large public gatherings while sidestepping on-spot monitoring and aftermath rescue and related co-ordination work. These are the two very important areas that need to be addressed in Mr Bokhary's finalreport in order to provide the Government with a full picture of what happened so that ways can be found to prevent such tragedies in the future.

Mr Bokhary completed his interim report in time for crowd control measures to be implemented during the Lunar New Year and I appreciate this. The proposals are positive steps in the right direction, however, the report tilted too much to the role played by the police.

Why is it that Mr Bokhary devoted acres of space in the report simply on the study of the police's role and the future responsibility that it should take, while blatantly neglecting the co-ordination of rescue work? I think the committee under Mr Bokhary, should look at all aspects of the problem, so that a full picture is presented and recommendations are aimed at finding a workable solution. Apart from focusing on on-spot task force deployment and the control of crowd flows, it is vitally important to consider: First, beefing up on-spot monitoring and co-ordination among relevant departments and authorities.

At a meeting of the Health Services Panel of the Legislative Council on January 11, representatives of the Hospital Authority said there had been a lack of co-ordination between the Fire Services Department and the hospitals during the disaster, making the hospitals unable to tie in with the ambulance service and send an emergency medical squad to the scene on time. And it is also essential for a good inter-departmental co-ordination for staff and machinery to be set up to resuscitate the injured brought into hospitals by ambulances.

In future festival celebrations and major events, rescue experts should be stationed at a ''999'' emergency call centre, to co-ordinate emergency departments to undertake rescue operations in case of a major incident.


Secondly, disciplinary and auxiliary health service staff should be given more training in cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Obviously, these people, being first on the scene, if better equipped with such skills, would have provided an even more effective and better co-ordinated service.

I have nothing but praise for all those who so gallantly took part in the resuscitation work, early on the morning of January 1.

Three surgeries were already underway when I arrived at the Queen Mary Hospital at 2 am that morning. And staff who were on call that morning all arrived in the shortest possible time to take part in the emergency rescue operation. This shows the necessity of keeping operational quarters, so that staff can report for duty in the shortest possible time, when it is necessary to do rescue work.

As a legislator, I sincerely hope that Mr Justice Bokhary will, in his final report, come up with specific guidelines, be they in the form of legislation or administrative guidelines, for the disciplinary servicemen to follow, so that they can understandtheir duty and power in a crisis situation and strike a balance between effective control and human rights of the civilians involved.


The interim report has stressed the importance of police bearing in mind both public safety and human rights. I am worried that officers may find themselves sandwiched between the two principles and this could result in an adverse reaction from members of the public.

Dr LEONG CHE-HUNG Legislative Councillor (Representing Medical Functional Constituency)