A doctor who conducts drug screening for English Schools Foundation schools has questioned whether the government is properly prepared and equipped to launch its pilot testing scheme in Tai Po in December. 'There's a lot the government should do if it wants to run the scheme smoothly and effectively,' said Wayne Moran, who runs a centre that treat alcoholics and drug abusers in Aberdeen. A US-certified medical review officer, Dr Moran has carried out drug testing for several schools in Hong Kong. His clinic currently provides a drug-screening service for one ESF school, which usually involves eight to 10 urine samples a year. He said the tests should be conducted by well-trained personnel, urine collection venues should be properly set up, and students should certify a urine specimen as their own. Urine collection should not be conducted in toilets, where students could access tap or toilet water to dilute the specimen. Ideally, he said, hair testing should be introduced; this method could reveal drug use over the previous three months, while urine testing covered only the previous three to five days. Proper collection kits were also crucial, he said. His clinic uses kits imported from the US that feature temperature monitors on the collection bottles, and tamper-proof tapes and bags. 'These must be used in schools if random collection goes ahead, although they are still not in widespread use in Hong Kong for the moment,' he said. Earlier this week, Privacy Commissioner Roderick Woo Bun raised concerns about privacy issues involved in the drug testing of students, saying students' parents or guardians had no authority to consent to testing on behalf of a minor. Dr Moran agreed that the government should obtain written consent from the students before the tests. 'The kids, regardless of their age, must sign their consent and at the same time make a statement that the urine specimen is theirs,' he said. A spokesman from the Security Bureau's narcotics division said a medical review officer deployed in a testing scheme should be a qualified medical practitioner, preferably in the field of psychiatry, but not many cases should need a review. Speaking after attending an RTHK television programme, Secretary for Security Ambrose Lee Siu-kwong said the government was concerned about privacy. 'We have sought legal advice from the secretary for justice. We think students should volunteer to join the scheme, with parental consent,' Mr Lee said. The government would continue talks with the privacy commissioner, he said. About 10 education groups had a meeting with the Education Bureau and the Narcotics Division yesterday to exchange views on the drug-testing scheme. Speaking later, the vice-chairman of Education Convergence, Ho Hon-kuen, said the government should offer the option of drug tests in public clinics. Nine people were arrested in five cases, including two youths, 16 and 17, on suspicion of drug trafficking between 6.30pm on Tuesday and 8am yesterday.