An overwhelming 97 per cent of doctors do not want Chinese herbalists to join the medical functional constituency in Legco elections next year, a survey shows. A separate seat was suggested for the herbalists as a counter-proposal to a government plan to widen the medical functional constituency to the herbalists. In a referendum conducted by 42 doctors last month, 1,605 of 1,650 respondents rejected the Government plan. Only two per cent, or 33 respondents, supported the Government and less than one per cent did not comment. Dr Kwok Ka-ki, one of the organisers, said the survey result had shown the strength of opposition among doctors. 'We now urge the Government to stop pushing ahead its plan in its high-handed approach,' he said, referring to a lack of consultation with the profession. 'We do not exclude the herbalists from our constituency, instead, we think they are so important that they should be given a separate seat.' He said it was time for the Government to focus on regulating the Chinese medicine industry rather than rushing through the electoral arrangement for the herbalists. Dr Kwok said he did not understand why the Government had to push through the electoral change when a registration system had not yet been put into place. Debate on whether the herbalists should be given a seat should start only after a new regulatory system had operated for a period of time, Dr Kwok said. He said the doctors would arrange a meeting with the Constitutional Affairs Bureau to convince officials to change their mind. Survey results would be sent to legislators and the Hong Kong Medical Association for reference. The Government had vowed to change the constituency after the Legco medical representative Dr Leong Che-hung began an attempt, later aborted, to incorporate herbalists in a private Legislative Council bill in July. He withdrew it under severe criticism from 500 doctors. About 7,000 herbalists will have to be registered by early next year, and the Chinese Medicine Council will be set up under a law to regulate the Chinese medicine industry.