A Medical Council member has accused the body of protecting doctors' interests rather than those of the public. Professor Sydney Chung Sheung-chee, head of the Chinese University medical faculty, said too many members were doctors elected by the profession, while the Hong Kong Medical Association had also taken a large number of seats. Of the 28 council members, seven were nominated by the association and another seven elected by the profession. There are only four lay members. 'So many council members are elected by the profession, and inevitably they have to represent the interests of their electorate,' Professor Chung said. 'There is a conflict in their role. Whenever proposals which may affect doctors' interests are raised, there is very strong opposition inside the council.' Patients' rights activists have been criticising the council for its 'closed-door' operation and Professor Chung agreed there should be more lay members to represent the public. The council has been discussing increasing the number of lay members to six. The Director of Health, the Chinese University, the University of Hong Kong, the Academy of Medicine and the Hospital Authority each nominate two members. The Government has proposed setting up a new 'one-stop' office to help patients making medical complaints. The Patients Complaints Office will only be administrative and the investigation of complaints will stay with the Medical Council. Professor Chung said he had reservations about the office, saying it would induce more patient complaints and trigger hostility between patients and doctors. 'It will be better for the Medical Council to put its own house in order. The office will be counter-productive. 'Our current resources do not allow us to brief patients in detail over why their complaints have been rejected.' Lo Wing-lok, association vice-president and also a council member, said of Professor Chung's claims: 'The association represents both private and public doctors, and also academics. 'We take care of the public interest, not just doctors' interests.'