A top official at the Centre for Health Protection will become the city's first full-time infection control consultant working in the private sector after accepting a post at a private hospital. The head of the centre's infection control branch, Raymond Yung Wai-hing, will become assistant superintendent and honorary consultant of clinical microbiology at Hong Kong Sanatorium and Hospital in October. His departure follows that of the centre's former director, Leung Pak-yin, who quit last year to become the Hospital Authority's director of quality and safety. Dr Yung said yesterday he would bring his experience working in the field of infection control at public hospitals and the University of Hong Kong to the private hospital. 'I hope that with what I picked up from the public sector, I may be able to help the private sector build a system of infection control and at the same time enhance communication with the public system,' he said. Dr Yung said he would be earning the same salary at the private hospital. 'After working in the public sector for 25 years, it is time to move on to something new,' he said. His said his new post would be 'more challenging' because he would be on his own, building a new team. Dr Yung contrasted that with the Hospital Authority and Health Department, which had more of an 'employer-employee' relationship culture. Three other private hospitals - St Theresa's, St Paul's and Adventist - have hired full-time infection control nurses. Director of Health Lam Ping-yan described the move not as a loss but as an opportunity for the community to benefit from the experience of someone of Dr Yung's calibre. Dr Yung was formerly a surgeon and received his first degree, in microbiology, in Minnesota in the US before going to the University of Hong Kong for his medical degree. Dr Yung said that during the past four years with the Centre for Health Protection he had been trying to align infection control practices in the public and private sectors. Guidelines had been developed separately by the Hospital Authority, Health Department and private hospitals. His aim was to have 'consistent frameworks' applicable to both sectors. His said moving to the private sector would complete his professional cycle before he hit retirement age.