Committee member Rosie Young says it never thought to quiz chief executive The expert committee appointed by Tung Chee-hwa to look into the Sars outbreak had never thought of investigating what role the chief executive played in getting Hong Kong out of the crisis, a committee member said yesterday. Rosie Young Tse-tse, emeritus professor in medicine at the University of Hong Kong and a former chairwoman of the Medical Council, said none of the members raised the idea of interviewing Mr Tung during their four-month investigation. The report - which found 'significant shortcomings' in the health system but did not single out anyone for blame - revealed poor communication between the Hospital Authority, the Department of Health and the two medical universities. But it barely mentioned the involvement of Mr Tung, who has been criticised by some families of Sars victims for responding slowly to the outbreak. The committee was to look into the actions of the government, including the Hospital Authority, the capabilities and structure of the health system and to recommend improvements. Professor Young said no boundaries had been placed on the scope of the project. 'We have never discussed if we should interview Mr Tung. Whether this was an oversight, I really don't know,' she said. In an appendix, the report said a high-level Sars steering committee, 'chaired by the chief executive' and involving principal officials, was established on March 25 to steer the government's response to the outbreak. Professor Young said she only met Mr Tung three times after her appointment to the committee. 'The first time was in June when we held our first meeting; the second time was in August, when Mr Tung treated members to a meal. We met for the third time when we presented the report to him [last Thursday].' She also revealed that some committee members initially held varying views on whether the Prince of Wales Hospital was right to discharge a renal patient in March, who later spread the virus to Amoy Gardens. The committee concluded that the discharge was justified because laboratory tests at the time showed the patient only suffered from influenza. 'We came to that conclusion after the hospital had brought us all the patient's medical records and his chest X-ray,' she said. Professor Young said she had been fully prepared for the negative comments that had been levelled at the report's findings and had no regrets about taking part. The outspoken professor has strongly criticised what she said was insensitivity shown by officials towards victims of Sars. Asked if she was willing to meet the distressed families, Professor Young said she would like to do so - but not now when the families could still be very emotional. 'If you lose someone in the family, it is just so difficult to put the pain behind,' she said.