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President's Message: Open Forum on Health Care Related Issues

posted Nov 23, 2009, 8:32 PM by DERC 藥物教育資源中心

(Originally posted on 2005-12-05)

Dear members,

An open forum with Dr. York Chow, organised by Dr. Hon. Joseph Lee Kok Long, took place on 3rd December, 2005 (Saturday). I was there, along with Mr. Billy Chung (President of PPA) and Mr. Benjamin Kwong (President of PS). On behalf of the three societies, I presented the following:

  • The three societies agree with the assessment in the HMDAC's discussion paper, "Building a Healthy Tomorrow", that healthcare resources in the community should be better involved in public health;
  • The HMDAC paper did not adequately cover the role that pharmacists can play in public health;
  • The current legal framework is not adequate to support pharmacists in carrying out their professional duties in the community setting, where the business is not legally required to be owned by the pharmacist;
  • The three societies stand united in their belief that a Pharmacy Council, operated by a majority of pharmacists, will do a better job of building a legal framework that supports professionalism in pharmacy, which in turn benefits the general public in their use of community pharmacy services;
  • The three societies have prepared a document detailing the discussion between our profession and the government that has been going on since 1978, regarding the role of pharmacists in the health system, the legal revamp required, the benefits of a Pharmacy Council etc. and invite Dr. Chow to read the document and decide the way forward.

Dr. Chow responded:

  • The HMDAC's paper is a high-level document that addresses the larger environment, so the major stakeholder, i.e. the medical profession, naturally takes prominence.
  • Apart from involving the government, the profession should also seek all avenues whereby they can directly influence the public and generate public consensus that pharmacists play an important role;
  • The profession should also seek to improve communication with the medical profession, and the government can act as a neutral platform for such communication if the need arises;
  • Efforts towards legal change should involve the Pharmacy and Poisons Board, but the government is willing to listen to the profession and find out what is inadequate with the current system.
Many allied health colleagues had a chance to voice concerns relating to their respective professions, and overall Dr. Chow responded candidly and gave useful suggestions.

I am sure we will have more opportunities to discuss with Dr. Chow in future, regarding healthcare reform and regarding our professional development. I sincerely invite you to speak out and be heard, either by participating in any such open forums in future, or by visiting the SHPHK Forums and discussing your concerns.

Thank you for your attention.

Yours sincerely,
K W Ng
President of SHPHK

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