13-member group set to plan policy and financing for health-care system Health chief York Chow Yat-ngok yesterday promised transparency in the work of a top-level policy advisory body while announcing it would be made up of 13 members, including economists, insurers, doctors and community leaders. The group would hold its first meeting on Friday, said Dr Chow, who will be its chairman. The No 2 will be Ronald Arculli, chairman of the Hong Kong Jockey Club, who also served as a legislator from 1988 to 2000. The health secretary said the panel would review and develop the service model for public and private health care. It would also propose long-term financing options. The work would be made 'as transparent as possible so people can voice their views on these two extremely important subjects', he said. The committee last met in 1999 and its members' tenures had since expired. The government announced the committee would be relaunched when it made Dr Chow health minister last year. Former chairman David Fang Jin-sheng, who was also appointed to the new body, said last night: 'I certainly hope that we can have a clear health policy as soon as possible.' Doing so required political will by the government, he said. 'How did we ever get ourselves in this predicament of not having a sustainable health-care policy? 'How did we arrive at this point and how can we accept it?' Another member, Louis Shih Tai-cho, who is a Medical Council member and vice-president of the Hong Kong Medical Association, agreed the panel had to produce results instead of just being 'a talking shop'. 'Our health system is no longer tenable,' said Dr Shih, who is also vice-chairman of the SynergyNet health think-tank and a member of the Action Group on Medical Policy. But Patients' Rights Association spokesman Tim Pang Hung-cheong said the committee did not adequately represent patients' groups, workers and poorer people, 'who are the main users of public hospital services'. Margaret Chung Wai-ling, honorary chairperson of the Regeneration Society, was 'low-profile and not representative enough', Mr Pang said.