PLC Paper No. CB(2)50
(These minutes have been seen
by the Administration and cleared
with the Chairman)
Ref : CB2/PL/HS

LegCo Panel on Health Services

Minutes of Meeting held on Monday, 12 May 1997 at 8:00 a.m. in Conference Room A of the Legislative Council Building

Members present :

    Hon Michael HO Mun-ka (Chairman)
    Dr Hon Edward LEONG Che-hung, OBE, JP (Deputy Chairman)
    Dr Hon YEUNG Sum
    Hon Howard YOUNG, JP
    Dr Hon LAW Chi-kwong
    Hon MOK Ying-fan

Members absent :

    Dr Hon HUANG Chen-ya, MBE
    Hon CHAN Yuen-han

Public officers attending:

    For all items

    Health and Welfare Branch

    Mr Gregory LEUNG, JP
    Deputy Secretary for Health & Welfare
    Mrs Maureen CHAN
    Principal Assistant Secretary for Health & Welfare
    Ms Jennifer CHAN
    Principal Assistant Secretary for Health & Welfare
    Mr Edward LAW
    Assistant Secretary for Health & Welfare
    Mr Donald NG
    Assistant Secretary for Health & Welfare

    For items III and IV

    Hospital Authority

    Ms Susie LUM
    Senior Executive Manager/Nursing
    Mr Eric CHAN
    Executive Manager/Nursing

    For item IV

    Nursing Board

    Ms Betty WOO
    Miss Shirley WONG
    Mr Tony TSANG

    For items IV and V

    Department of Health
    Dr P Y LAM
    Deputy Director of Health
    Mr M S TSE
    Head, Boards & Councils Office

    For item V

    Optometrists Board

    Prof S H LEE, ISO, JP

Attendance by invitation :

    For item IV

    Association of Hong Kong Nursing Staff

    Mr MAK Kwok-fung, Michael
    Miss YEUNG Yee-man, Eva
    Executive Member
    Mr YEUNG Wing-chiu
    Assistant Secretary
    Hong Kong Society for Nursing Education
    Ms LEUNG Yuk-ling, Ruby
    (School Principal, Queen Mary Hospital)
    Ms CHAN Wai-chi, Sally
    Publication Subcommittee
    (Assistant Professor Department of Nursing
    The Chinese University of Hong Kong)
    United Christian Hospital Nurses Association
    Ms CHEUK Kit-ling, Miriam
    Nursing Officer of Health Resource Centre
    Chairman of the Association
    Subcommittee on Nursing Education, Hospital Authority
    Mr Jack FU
    School Principal
    School of Nursing, Kwai Chung Hospital
    College of Nursing, Hong Kong
    Ms Alice TSANG
    Ms Mavis LEE
    Council Member
    Dr Peter FRENCH
    Hong Kong Nurses (Public Service) General Union
    Ms Cecilia SO
    Mr CHAN Kong-yeung
    Vice President
    Mr Peter YUEN
    Hospital & Clinic Nurses Association
    Ms WONG Joy-ying
    Mr WONG Kwei-yau
    Deputy Secretary
    Ms TONG Woon-tim
    Nurses Union, Hong Kong Chinese Civil Service Association
    Mr Anthony YIM
    Vice Chairperson
    Mr KAN Po-chiu
    Vice Chairperson
    Ms WONG Yee-lai
    Committee Member

Clerk in attendance :

    Mrs Mary TANG
    Chief Assistant Secretary (2) 4

Staff in attendance :

    Mr Jimmy MA
    Legal Adviser
    Mr Stanley MA
    Senior Assistant Secretary (2) 9

Closed meeting

1. The Chairman reminded members that a joint meeting with the LegCo Panel on Environmental Affairs to discuss the Centralized Incineration Facility had been scheduled on Friday, 30 May 1997 at 10:30 am in the LegCo Chamber.

2. Members discussed and agreed on the items to be discussed at the next regular meeting.

3. Members also agreed on the scope of discussion and the major issues to be discussed in respect of each agenda item.

Open Meeting

I Confirmation of minutes of meeting

(LegCo Paper No. CB(2) 1771/96-97)

4. The minutes of meeting held on 10 March 1997 were confirmed.

II Items for discussion at the next meeting

5. The Chairman informed the Administration that the Panel wished to discuss the following items at the next meeting to be held on 10 June 1997-

  1. Regulation on Chinese medicine;

  2. Review on the progress of the registration systems for professionals in the medical and health care field; and

  3. Healthcare financing review.

III Nursing manpower shortage

(Paper No. CB(2)2175/96-97 (04))

6. At the request of the Chairman, Senior Executive Manager/Nursing (SEM/N) of Hospital Authority (HA) informed members that apart from an increase of 200 additional nurses to the public hospitals in which resources had been provided in 1997/98 year, HA would continue to monitor and review the staff situation of nurses in the annual planning process.

7. Given the existing market situation, members were concerned about the sources of supply for the additional 580 nurses. SEM/N replied that there were three main sources of additional nurses to the public hospitals, namely; the direct recruitment of qualified nurses, the increase in number of intake of nurse trainees and the internal redeployment of existing nursing resources in the public hospitals to meet the changing needs of the community. She stressed that HA had adopted a balanced approach to meet its projected requirement of 580 additional nurses.

8. In response to members’ further enquiries, SEM/N pointed out that the total number of the next two intakes of student nurses in HA in October 1997 and February 1998 were targetted at 940. She expected that the number of student intakes in nursing degree courses available at the local universities would also increase. Together with a declining trend of drop-out rate of student nurses in the past two years, i.e., from 23.4% in 1994/95 to 9% in 1996/97, HA anticipated that, assuming other factors remained unchanged, the remaining 380 additional nurses necessary for ensuring the provision of quality nursing services at public hospitals could be filled up in three years’ time.

9. The Chairman asked whether resources would be provided to HA for the employment of the remaining 380 additional nurses, SEM/N responded that HA would submit appropriate bids to Government in future resources allocation exercises. In response to the Chairman’s enquiry, Deputy Secretary for Health and Welfare (DS/HW) replied that allocation of recurrent and capital resources for both existing and new nursing services in public hospitals would always be accorded with a high priority.

10. Dr LAW Chi-kwong requested for further written information on the overall manpower situation of nurses in public hospitals, taking into account of all other relevant factors such as the target total intake of student nurses, estimated number of universities’ graduates, resignation and retirement of existing nurses etc. For members’ easy reference on the overall picture, the Chairman added that the allocation of the additional 580 and 500 nurses for existing and new nursing services should be separately detailed in the paper, as well as HA’s manpower procurement plans in the next two years. SEM/N replied that final allocation would be based on the manpower projections of individual hospitals which would be available in August this year. She also agreed to provide further written information on nursing manpower as soon as practicable.Adm

IV. Nursing Registration (Amendment) Bill 1997

(Paper No. CB(2)2175(01), (02) and (03))

11. At the request of the Chairman, Dr LEONG Che-hung, Deputy Chairman chaired discussion of this agenda item.

12. On behalf of the Panel, the Deputy Chairman briefed the Administration, representatives of the Nursing Board (NB) and deputations from the eight nurses associations on the purpose of today’s discussion.

13. At the request of the Deputy Chairman, Ms Betty WOO, chairman of the Nursing Board (CNB), briefed members on the three major proposals in the proposed Nurses Registration (Amendment) (NR(A)) Bill 1997 as follows-

  1. the direct election of six members to the proposed Nursing Council (NC) from all registered and enrolled nurses and the reduction of appointed members from 10 to 6 to ensure a more representative forum of the future NC;

  2. the removal of the minimum age requirement for registration and enrollment, having regard to Article 22 of the Bill of Rights Ordinance which prohibited discrimination against age without reasonable justification; and

  3. the level of penalty against criminal offences.

14. Miss Shirley WONG of the Nursing Board (SW/NB) supplemented that both NB and the College of Nursing, Hong Kong had, after careful and detailed consideration, agreed to the proposal in 13(b). She pointed out that all nurses had to undergo a three-year structured training programme which equipped them to handle all aspects of work in their profession. Upon successful completion of the programme, they should be qualified to enter the profession and register in the future NC.

15. SEM/N also supplemented that the introduction of an elected element into the proposed NC had been thoroughly discussed and considered by NB at more than one meeting. The majority of NB members were in favour of the idea, having considered the long-term professional development of the nurses profession as well as the representativeness of the membership of the future NC.

16. In response to Mr Howard YOUNG’s enquiry, SEM/N explained that the existing NB comprised of 17 appointed members nominated by selected nursing institutions while the proposed NC would comprise of 20 members of which six would be elected and the remaining 14 would still be appointed. CNB supplemented that along with the introduction of six elected members, the number of appointed nurses and lay members would be adjusted from 10 to six and from one to two respectively. She stressed that NB had considered other options before deciding to adopt the proposal of having six members to be elected from all registered and enrolled nurses who had been on the register or the roll three months prior to the election.

17. Dr LAW Chi-kwong opined that the number of elected members and lay members in the future NC should constitute 50% and 30% respectively of the total membership. Comparing to similar institutions, he found the proposed numbers of elected members (30% of total membership) and lay members (10% of total membership) were inadequate. He enquired the basis on which the number of elected and lay members were determined. CNB responded that members of NB started to consider proposals on the composition of the proposed NC since early 1993 and after thorough discussion had agreed (except one member) that six elected members and 14 appointed members were appropriate.

18. Dr YEUNG Sum asked whether there were divergent views among practising nurses and their respective associations on the major proposals as in paragraph 13 (a), (b) and (c). SW/NB responded that as far as the removal of minimum age requirement for registration was concerned, four nursing unions were of the view that there was a need for the requirement to ensure that all nurses were mature enough to handle the psychological and physical pressure of caring for a patient. In this connection, she reiterated that nurses who had successfully completed the three-year structured training programme should be qualified to enter the profession and their abilities to handle all aspects of work in their profession should not be judged by their ages. As regards the proposed revision of level of penalties against the prescribed misconduct of nurses, CNB stated that the proposal had been well received.

19. In response to Mr Howard YOUNG’s enquiries, SW/NB replied that the normal age of nurses, after completing secondary school and the three-year training course, applying for registration to NC should be around 20½. As regards to how the appointed members were determined, PAS/HW replied that they were appointed by the Governor in Council, in their personal capacity, having regard to their contributions to the profession, the respresentativeness of nurses unions and institutions, the balance of interests in the profession etc.

20. At the Deputy Chairman’s enquiry, CNB replied that there would be 18 nurses and two lay members in the proposed NC. She reiterated that members of NB accepted the proposal of having two lay members after thorough discussion. In view of the fact that only six members would be elected by direct election, the Deputy Chairman expressed reservation on professional independence of the future NC. As for the appointed members, PAS/HW replied that they would be appointed after the election of the six members.

21. The Deputy Chairman asked whether the proposed removal of the minimum age requirement for registration in the proposed NC was in conflict with Article 22 of the Bill of Rights Ordinance (BOR). The Legal Adviser (LA) replied that it would not be inconsistent with Article 22 of BOR. He pointed out that, as far as the existing minimum age requirement was concerned, no major opposing views had been raised for public debate since BOR was brought into operation. As the setting of a minimum age requirement in many legal and economic activities was accepted by the community, he was of the view that the existing provision of the Nurses Registration Ordinance (NRO) (Cap 164) was not in conflict with Article 22 of BOR. In response to members’ further enquiries, LA advised that most professional associations did not impose a minimum age requirement for registration. However, a certain age would have been reached in order to acquire the required qualifications and training for membership in these associations. PAS/HW supplemented that although the minimum age requirement in NRO did not contravene directly Article 22 of BOR, the Administration considered that it was appropriate to remove the requirement since a nurse’s qualification to register should depend on the standard of training acquired and not her age. The maturity of nurse depended on various factors and there was no reasonable justification to impose a minimum age requirement. LA added that the setting of a minimum age for registration in a professional institution with reasonable justification would not contravene Article 22 of BOR.

22. The Deputy Chairman invited the comments from representatives of the following nurses associations-

  1. Association of Hong Kong Nursing Staff (AHKNS);

  2. Hong Kong Society for Nursing Education (HKSNE);

  3. United Christian Hospital, Nurses Association (UCHNA);

  4. Subcommittee on Nursing Education, Hospital Authority (SNEHA);

  5. College of Nursing, Hong Kong (CNHK);

  6. Hong Kong Nurses (Public Service) General Union (HKN(PS)GU);

  7. Hospital and Clinic Nurses Association (HCNA); and

  8. Nurses Union, Hong Kong Chinese Civil Service Association (HKCCSA).

The Proposal of six elected members in the proposed Nursing Council (the Proposal)

23. A representative of AHKNS said that AHKNS as the largest nurses association with some 9,600 members was in support of the Proposal. Another representative said AHKNS was confident that the introduction of direct election of six members would help improve the representativeness, transparency and autonomy of the future NC. He stated that 93 percent of the 1278 respondents of AHKNS’s survey exercise conducted in March 1997, consisting of nurses from both public and private institutions with 30 percent of them were not members of AHKNS, were in support of the Proposal. He added that members elected by one-man-one-vote was more representative than those selected by other means. In particular, he said members selected by means of nominations from nurses associations normally were inclined to give priority consideration to the interests of their affiliated associations.

24. A representative of HKSNE indicated her support of the Proposal in that it provided front-line nurses with more opportunities to join NC and participate in the affairs of NC. She added that a total of six elected members was inadequate and additional elected members should be introduced at a later stage.

25. A representative referred to the results of a recent survey which indicated that around 70 percent of colleagues in UCHNA had indicated their support of the Proposal. She added that the arrangements for the direct election should be carefully considered.

26. A representative said members of SNEHA, consisting of the principals of the 19 nursing schools of HA, unanimously supported the Proposal in that it would help achieve the self-governance and autonomy of the profession. He added that SNEHA considered the proposed number of elected members inadequate and expected more elected members in the future.

27. Representatives of CNHK supported the Proposal in principle and found the total of six elected members inadequate. They added that CNHK was also concerned about the arrangements for direct election of the six members.

28. A representative said HKN(PS)GU did not support the Proposal. She briefed the meeting on the diversity of specialties and ranks of nurses working in various public and private institutions and drew members’ attention to the following-

  1. members of NC should possess substantial expertise and experience in the profession;

  2. the authorities and functions of NC should be enlarged and extended to ensure that quality nursing services were maintained in all public and private hospitals;

  3. an independent Secretariat should be established to assist NC in discharging its duties, and to help in improving the transparency of NC;

  4. professional nurses should occupy more seats in NC. These members should be appointed by nominations from nurses associations as more than 80 percent of the respondents in a survey conducted by HKN(PS)GU were in favour of such appointment;

  5. the introduction of direct election did not guarantee a move towards professional autonomy and self-governance of NC as well as the qualities of the six elected members; and

  6. the number of nurses in different categories varied and a balance of representation in NC should be sought.

In the light of the above consideration, HKN(PS)GU proposed that in the introduction of an elected element in the future NC, the number of elected members should be increased by phases.

29. A representative of HCNA said most nurses were married women who had a family to look after. As reflected by the low voting rate in the past election exercise, they were not enthusiastic towards direct election. If direct election was adopted for the selection of six members of NC, it was likely that the more outspoken candidates rather than the more qualified nurse representatives in the profession would be elected. She suggested that other methods of selection of members such as nominations by nurses associations on the basis of proportional representation should be considered.

30. A representative said HKCCSA did not object to the idea of direct election but would prefer less seats for elected members at the start. He emphasized that an incremental approach to increase the number of elected members would be more appropriate and that a well-planned implementation programme was crucial to ensure that the best candidates would be elected.

31. Mr Howard YOUNG enquired on the rationale behind the advocacy that members nominated from nurses associations were, if appointed, subject to conflict of interests. A representative of AHKNS responded that these members were inclined to consider the interests of their affiliated nurses associations first and would consequently create unnecessary and unfavourable competition among members in NC. Furthermore, nurses might have affiliation with more than one nurses associations and their votes would then be counted twice or more in respect of nominations from nurses associations.

32. As chairmen and executive members of nurses organizations were mostly elected by their fellow members, Dr LAW asked representatives of nurses associations who objected to direct election to explain the reasons for their objection. Ms Cecilia SO of HKN(PS)GU reiterated that direct election of members should be introduced by gradual steps and to start with six members was a bit too fast. She pointed out that there were many categories of nursing institutions in the profession and a balanced representation of their views in NC was essential. She believed that members nominated from these institutions would work for the benefit of the profession and not for the interests of their affiliated associations alone. She added that nurses should have the freedom and right to join as many nurses associations as they wish, provided the regulations of the associations concerned did not forbid such application. In reply to Mr LAW’s further enquiry on whether NC members should represent a balanced representation of nurses, PAS/HW said that the proposed composition was concluded after thorough discussion at NB’s meetings. She pointed out that there were always different views and the Administration accepted the present proposal.

33. Dr YEUNG Sum asked whether the number of elected members in NC would be adjusted in the years to come. PAS/HW replied that the Administration would always give priority consideration to the views of the profession. Without the support of nurses and nurses associations, any proposed changes to the existing rules would unlikely be successful. At the Deputy Chairman’s request, Ms SO said that HKN(PS)GU had not worked out a detailed proposal on the pace of direct election for members of NC. She also pointed out that consultation on the proposed NR(A) Bill was inadequate. Ms WONG Joy-ying of HCNA shared the same view. CNB pointed out that a Working Group on Review of the Nurses Registration Ordinance was established in 1993 and at its meeting on 28 June 1993 the idea of having elected members to NB was first brought up. The decision of having six elected members was concluded, having regard to opposing views from nurses associations including HKN(PS)GU, in March 1997 after lengthy discussion at a number of meetings of the Working Group and NB. At the Deputy Chairman’s request, CNB agreed to provide the Panel with written information on the sequence of events in relation to the revamping of the Nursing Registration Ordinance (Cap 164), with focus on the introduction of elected members in the proposed NC.Adm

[Post-meeting Note : An information paper prepared by NB on the development leading to the proposed direct election arrangement was circulated vide Paper No.CB(2)2282/96-97(01) on 15 May 1997.]

The removal of minimum age requirement for registration in the proposed Nursing Council

At the Deputy Chairman’s request, representatives of the eight nurses associations expressed their opinions on the subject. AHKNS, HKSNE, UCHNA, SNEHA and CNHK raised no objection to the proposal. HKN(PS)GU, HCNA and HKCCSA did not support the proposal on grounds that nurses below the age of 21 might not be mature enough to handle the psychological and operational pressure of caring for patients and this might affect the quality of nursing care. Without the minimum age requirement, they were worried that some patients would have to be looked after by young nurses who lacked the necessary experiences and maturity. A representative of HKCCSA supplemented that with the removal of minimum age requirement, secondary school graduates aging between 15 and 18 could be admitted as student nurses. They might be required to handle and care for patients after a short period of training and would also perform overnight shifts where supervision would likely be minimal. She warned that this would not be in the interest of the patients’ health.

34. In the light of opposing views, Ms SO requested that further consultation within the profession should be sought. She quoted the recently enacted Medical Registration (Transitional Provisions) Bill 1997 as an example to emphasize the importance of a wider consultation on the major proposals of the Bill. She added that HKN(PS)GU also had reservations on the proposal that a nurse applying for a practising certificate was required to supply information on any conviction of a criminal offence that was punishable with imprisonment. In response, a member stated that the provisions of an enacted Bill could always be amended to meet the justified needs of the community.

35. Mr Michael HO Mun-ka pointed out that under the provisions of the Bill, only six of the 20 proposed seats would be filled by elected members. As such, the Administration could still select six registered nurses to be appointed to NC. These appointments, in addition to nominations from Director of Health, Hospital Authority, tertiary institutions as well as mental diseases and mentally sub-normal specialty, would ensure that nursing professions in different fields would be adequately represented and that the appropriate balance of interest would be achieved. As many nursing-related institutions had been established to represent the interests of different nursing specialties, Mr HO pointed out that it would be impossible for the proposed NC to incorporate representatives from all categories of nurses or their affiliated institutions. As far as Article 22 of BOR was concerned, he considered that further legal advice on the removal of the minimum age requirement was necessary. Regarding the requirement for declaration of criminal offences by nurses applying for a practising certificate, he suggested that the Administration should consider introducing statutory requirements for all professionals in the medical and health care field to make declarations on criminal conviction upon registration or renewal of registration.

V Implementation of the Optometrists Regulation

36. Mr Michael HO Mun-ka resumed the Chair at this juncture. He briefed members on the claim of the president of the Hong Kong Society of Professional Optometrists (HKSPO) as contained in his letter to the Optometrists Board (OB), which stated that unqualified personnel were providing optometric services to the public and urged OB to take remedial measures.

37. At the Chairman’s request, Prof S H LEE explained that OB was established under section 5 of the Supplementary Medical Professions Ordinance (Cap 359) (the Ordinance). It was responsible for promoting adequate standards of professional practice and conduct among optometrists. In accordance with the provisions of the Optometrists (Registration and Disciplinary Procedure) Regulation which was made under section 29 of the Ordinance, OB was empowered to deal with matters relating to registration and disciplinary control of registered optometrists which included the preparation and issue of a "Code of Practice" (COP) to registered optometrists for compliance. The requirement that only registered optometrists could practise and provide service to the public was brought into operation on 1 April 1996. According to the provisions of the COP, every practising optometrist was required to display a copy of his/her registration certificate in a conspicuous position within the practice. Members of the public should check the presence of such certificate before they patronized the service of a practising optometrist. They were encouraged to report any illegal practice of the optometrists profession to the police for investigation or to OB for referral action.

38. In response to the Chairman’s enquiry, Prof LEE said that OB was considering the suggestions of HKSPO. He agreed that the idea of requiring registered optometrists to wear some sort of identity card with Chinese and English names and a recent photo was one of the practical measures to prevent illegal practising. In response to a member’s demand for a schedule of implementation, Prof LEE undertook to co-ordinate with HKSPO to work out the necessary administrative arrangements as soon as practicable.

39. Dr LEONG asked whether optometric inspectors should be employed to enforce the requirements of the Ordinance. Deputy Director of Health (DDH) said that the wearing of appropriate identity cards for all registered optometrist would suffice for the purpose. He stressed that the Administration’s general policy was to promote greater professional autonomy and self-governance. In this connection, he assured members that Department of Health (DH) would assist OB in its implementation of measures taken to combat illegal practising as well as publicity programmes proposed by OB.

40. In reply to Dr LEONG’s enquiry, Head, Boards and Councils Office (HBCO) of DH said that OB had so far received 14 complaint cases and none of them was related to misleading and unauthorized advertising. Section 26(3) of the Ordinance provided that any registered optometrists contravening the code of practice would be subject to inquiries held by OB. In accordance with OB’s disciplinary procedures in handling complaints against registered optometrists, a written complaint received by OB would be referred to the chairman of the Board’s Preliminary Investigation Committee (PIC) for consideration. Members of PIC might refer the complaint in whole or in part to OB for an inquiry. HBCO further pointed out that a person who practised without being registered committed an offence under section 21(1) of the Ordinance while a person who employed another person to practise optometry when the latter was not registered committed an offence under section 21(2).

VI Any other business

Recent outbreak of cholera

41. DDH briefed members on the latest developments of the eight suspected cases of cholera which had been reported to DH between 6 to 12 May 1997. There was so far no evidence to indicate that the six confirmed cases were connected. The source of infection of these cases had not been identified. DH had co-ordinated with the two municipal services departments to carry out the necessary investigation into the source of infection, isolation of cases, tracing of contacts and other preventive and control measures. Patients’ homes had been disinfected and food surveillance was conducted. He assured members that provided food, personal and environmental hygiene were observed, members of the public would unlikely be infected with the cholera.

42. In response to members inquiries, DDH clarified that according to international health standards and established practice of World Health Organization, the local health department of a country had the authority to declare a territory to be an infected area. Such declaration was not dependent on the number of confirmed cases of cholera but rather on the standard of the overall environmental hygiene of the territory concerned. This included factors such as the supply of good quality water, the presence of well-developed sewage drainage and medical systems to control the spread of cholera. Given the environmental hygiene and medical standards here, there appeared no evidence that Hong Kong should be declared as an infected place. In response to Mr Howard YOUNG’s follow up enquiry, DDH said the quality of the water supplied by the Water Supplies Department was of a very high standard and was subjected to regular tests.

In response to Dr LEONG’s enquiry, DDH clarified that recovery from cholera was not achieved by medicine alone. Appropriate treatment by medical staff and sufficient rest at the hospital were essential too. There was at present no indication that cholera would spread in Hong Kong. He stressed that the best preventive measure against cholera was to maintain a high standard of personal and food hygiene.

The Nurse Registration (Amendment) Bill 1997 (Close Meeting)

43. Members considered that the policy aspects of the NR(A) Bill had been thoroughly scrutinized. The divergent views of nurses associations on the major proposals of the NR(A) Bill 1997 were noted. As their differences could not be resolved with further deliberations, members unanimously agreed that the activation of the Bills Committee on the NR(A) Bill 1997 was not necessary. The Panel therefore decided to recommend resumption of Second Reading debate on the (NR)A Bill 1997, subject to the advice of the Legal Service Division that the drafting aspects of the Bill were in order.

44. The meeting ended at 11:28 a.m.

Provisional Legislative Council Secretariat
18 July 1997

Last Updated on 19 August 1998