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Healthcare enters new chapter

Chief Executive Carrie Lam today said primary healthcare development has entered a new chapter under the efforts of the current-term Government.   Mrs Lam made the statement at the District Health Centre - New Journey in Primary Healthcare Ceremony, noting that she advocated in her first Policy Address in 2017 the setting up of District Health Centres (DHCs) that are operated in a brand new mode with a view to enhancing public awareness on preventive healthcare and personal health management through community networks.   To date, DHCs or DHC Expresses have started service in 14 districts. The DHCs will be extended to cover the remaining four districts of Wong Tai Sin, Yuen Long, Southern District and Tsuen Wan, in the next few months.   Mrs Lam noted that upon their presence in all 18 districts within this year, the DHCs and DHC Expresses will serve as the important hardware for promoting the collaboration of primary healthcare services.   She also pointed out that the Food &am

New offence proposed to Govt

The Law Reform Commission has proposed a new offence to highlight the focus of protecting children and vulnerable people by prevention and deterrence.   In a report published today, the commission suggested to impose criminal liability on those who fail to take reasonable steps to protect a child under 16 or a vulnerable person over 16, including the elderly and the disabled, from death or serious harm.   The proposed offence would apply in domestic settings where the defendant was a member of the same household and had frequent contact with the victim.   It would also apply in institutional settings where the defendant owed a duty of care to the victim, such as domestic helpers, school teachers and elderly home managers.   The mental element of the proposed offence is that the defendant knew or had reasonable grounds to believe that there was a risk of serious harm to the victim, including psychological or psychiatric harm resulting from sexual assault.   Another element pertains to the defendant's failure to take reasonable steps to protect the victim.   There would be a maximum of 20 years' jail in cases where the victim dies and 15 years' imprisonment where the victim suffers serious harm.   Law Reform Commission Causing or Allowing the Death of a Child or Vulnerable Adult Sub-committee Chairman Amanda Whitfort said: “This is a proactive, preventative offence. It seeks to encourage intervention before the worst has occurred. It also closes the current evidential loophole which creates problems when the prosecution cannot identify the perpetrator of the abuse.”   The commission also recommends that the Government should review the maximum penalty for the offence of ill-treatment or neglect of a child.   The report follows a study by the sub-committee, which issued a consultation paper in May 2019. It has studied the laws and practices of other common law jurisdictions, in particular England, South Australia and New Zealand.   To read the full report or the executive summary, visit the commission’s website.
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