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  •  Joseph Lee: Revamp government health policy
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    Dr Joseph Lee is the first OUHK staff member to be elected as a Legislative Council member.


    The health policy of Hong Kong focuses too much on treatment rather than health promotion, according to Dr Joseph Lee, the newly elected representative of the health services functional constituency in the Legislative Council and Assistant Professor of Nursing at the OUHK.

    'It's inappropriate to equate being "sick" with being "unhealthy". With appropriate educational and facilitative services, even people who are diseased can enjoy a functionally healthy life. Countries like Britain and Australia offer comprehensive support for people to lead healthy lives. But Hong Kong only offers support in a haphazard fashion,' he said.

    One of Dr Lee's priorities as a legislator will be urging the government to review its health policy and to adopt a holistic approach in the provision of health services.

    He believes his two roles as an academic at the OUHK and a legislator will be beneficial to each other. 'Being a teacher of nurses allows me to get to know the views and needs of front-line nursing staff, which I can now bring directly to the Legislative Council. And as a legislator, I will know more about government policies. This will be useful to my teaching and management work at the University,' he said.

    Dr Lee started working as a tutor at the OUHK in 1993 and became a full-time staff member in 1995. The University's nursing programmes have about 800 students now. 'We are the only university in Hong Kong that has part-time programmes for enrolled nurses to study to become registered nurses. Among the first batch of 181 fresh graduates from our Higher Diploma in Nursing programme this year, most have been promoted or are being assigned new jobs by the Hospital Authority.'

    In view of the decrease in the number of enrolled nurses and the increase in demand for nurses, the OUHK is planning to launch a full-time nursing degree programme for post-secondary school leavers in collaboration with teaching hospitals. The programme may be available as early as October 2005.

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