Legislative Council
Panel on Health Service

13 September 1999
Issues discussed by the
Health and Medical Development Advisory Committee


This paper reports on the issues discussed by the Health and Medical Development Advisory Committee (HMDAC) since 1998.


2. The Health and Medical Development Advisory Committee was established on 1 March 1992 as a non-statutory advisory body to advise the Government on policy issues concerning health and medical services. The terms of reference of the Committee are : -

Having regard to the availability of manpower and financial resources dedicated by the Government and the development plans and policies of the Hospital Authority, to review the health and medical needs of the community, and to advise the Government, through the Secretary for Health and Welfare, on

  1. the manpower requirements to meet those in need;

  2. the adequacy and development of health and medical services; and

  3. the proper interface of all health and hospital services in the public and private sectors.

3. The Committee meets quarterly. Issues discussed by HMDAC since 1998 are summarised below.

Review of Dispensing Service

4. HMDAC was briefed on the investigation report on the incident of wrongly dispensed medicine in Cheung Sha Wan Jockey Club Clinic Dispensary.

5. HMDAC noted that the Department of Health (DH) would conduct a review of its dispensary service and its staffing situation.

Ancillary Dental Personnel

6. HMDAC recommended a registration framework for Ancillary Dental Personnel. The Government was asked to consider the Committee's recommendation.

Remuneration package for new recruits of the Hospital Authority

7. The Administration briefed the HMDAC on the new remuneration package for new recruits of the Hospital Authority (HA). HMDAC noted that due to a number of revisions to the civil servant pay package, the remuneration package for new HA staff would have to be adjusted to reflect the changes so as to maintain the principle of comparability of the costs of the remuneration package for civil servants and HA employees.

DH's organisational structure and strategies for control of communicable diseases

8. The HMDAC was briefed on DH's strategies in prevention and control of communicable diseases. Members agreed that health promotion was an economical way of disease prevention.

Health Education and Health Promotion

9. The Administration provided a broad overview of DH's programmes for health education and health promotion and the work of the Central Health Education Unit to the HMDAC.

Chinese Medicine

10. The HMDAC was consulted on the content of the Chinese Medicine Bill, which provides for the regulation of practice, use, trading and manufacture of Chinese medicine. The Bill was introduced into the Legislative Council in February 1999 and passed in July 1999.

11. Following passage of the Bill, the Government planned to commence registration of Chinese medicine practitioners in early 2000. Regulation of Chinese medicines would be phased in starting also from 2000.

Manpower Review

12. The Administration updated HMDAC on the projections of medical manpower requirement in Hong Kong up to the year 2010. HMDAC noted the forecast and asked the Administration to monitor the situation.

Accreditation of private hospitals

13. HMDAC supported setting up a voluntary accreditation scheme for private hospitals to address the issue of quality of medical services. The Committee considered that an independent accreditation body should be formed, with participation by local and overseas experts.

Pharmacists and Dispensers report

14. HMDAC noted the Report on Pharmacists and Dispensers under the 1996 Health Manpower Survey.

Review of Pharmacy and Poisons Ordinance

15. The Administration presented a proposal of revamping the Pharmacy and Poisons Ordinance and the Antibiotics Ordinance to the HMDAC. Under the proposal, the existing Pharmacy and Poisons Ordinance and the Antibiotics Ordinance would be repealed and replaced by two new Ordinances, one for regulation of pharmacists and the other for controls of pharmaceutical products.

16. HMDAC endorsed the proposal.

Healthcare Review

17. HMDAC was briefed on the Consultancy on Health Care Review carried out by the Harvard team. The Committee considered the findings and recommendations of the Consultancy in detail. It supports the principle that every one should have access to quality medical services and that there should be a system of shared responsibility between the Government and the individuals.

Health and Welfare Bureau
September 1999