Centre for Health Protection
The Centre for Health Protection (Chinese: 衛生防護中心) is an agency under the Department of Health in Hong Kong responsible for disease prevention and control. CHP plays the same role and function as the Centers for Disease Control in the United States, and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control in the European Union (EU).
|Formed||1 June 2004|
|Headquarters||Kowloon City, Hong Kong|
|Parent agency||Department of Health|
|Centre for Health Protection|
Hong Kong was severely affected by the 2003 outbreak of the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), with 299 people killed by the disease. The health system's performance in the face of the epidemic was scrutinised, and there were calls for an independent investigation. On 14 May 2003, Michael Mak, representative of the Health Services constituency, initiated a non-binding motion within the Legislative Council's health services panel calling for the setting-up of a select committee to investigate government officials and Hospital Authority executives. Mak commented that the SARS outbreak had uncovered "administrative and policy weaknesses", and stated, "I hope that when a similar outbreak happens in the future, we will not find ourselves in such a mess again." The motion passed unanimously, as all but one of the pro-government legislators had walked out, calling it a "witch-hunting exercise".
On 15 May 2003, Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa launched a government-led investigation, ordering the Secretary for Health, Welfare and Food to appoint a review committee comprising local and overseas experts. The membership of the SARS Expert Committee was announced on 28 May 2003. Committee co-chairs Sir Cyril Chantler and Sian Griffiths submitted the panel's final report to the government on 2 October 2003.
One of the recommendations in the report was the setting up of the Centre for Health Protection (CHP), to be charged with communicable disease control, surveillance, planning for epidemics, and co-ordination during outbreaks. This suggestion was welcomed by Hong Kong medical experts. Deputy health director Leung Pak-yin became the first controller of the CHP on 1 April 2004. The initial operations of the centre were supported by a HK$500 million donation from the Hong Kong Jockey Club. The centre officially commenced operation on 1 June 2004.
The centre has seven divisions:
- Communicable Disease Branch
- Emergency Response and Programme Management Branch
- Health Promotion Branch
- Infection Control Branch
- Non-communicable Disease Branch
- Public Health Laboratory Services Branch
- Public Health Services Branch
The CHP is headed by the Controller for the Centre for Health Protection and reports to the Director of the Department of Health.
|#||Name||Tenure start||Tenure end||Tenure length|
|1||Dr. Leung Pak-yin||1 June 2004||28 February 2007||2 years and 273 days|
|2||Dr. Thomas Tsang Ho-fai||1 March 2007||28 December 2012||5 years and 303 days|
|3||Dr. Leung Ting-hung||29 December 2012||7 November 2016||3 years and 315 days|
|4||Dr. Wong Ka-hing||8 November 2016||Incumbent||3 years and 140 days|
CHP deals with various health-related issues including:
- "Calls mount for investigation into outbreak". South China Morning Post. 10 May 2003. p. 3.
- Lee, Klaudia; Leung, Ambrose (15 May 2003). "Legco to consider probing officials on Sars". South China Morning Post. p. 1.
- Lee, Klaudia; Leung, Ambrose; Lee, Ella (16 May 2003). "Tung puts the Sars outbreak under scrutiny". South China Morning Post. p. 1.
- "SARS Experts Committee appointed". Hong Kong Government. 28 May 2003.
- Benitez, Mary Ann (3 October 2003). "Health-care system needs overhaul to cope better with crisis, says panel". South China Morning Post. p. 2.
- Moy, Patsy; Lee, Ella; Lee, Klaudia (3 October 2003). "Doctors bemoan the lack of prescriptions for what must be done". South China Morning Post. p. 3.
- "Appointment of Controller of Centre for Health Protection". Hong Kong Government. 1 April 2004.
- "Speech by SHWF at Inauguration Ceremony of Centre for Health Protection". Centre for Health Protection. 27 October 2004.
- Benitez, Mary Ann; Wu, Elaine (2 June 2004). "New health centre shuts school in virus outbreak". South China Morning Post. p. 1.