Following is the transcript of remarks by the Secretary for Food and Health, Professor Sophia Chan, at a media session after attending a radio programme this morning (January 12):
Reporter: can you shed some light on how the Government to prevent the abuse of the Health Care Voucher? Would the Government consider providing subsidy to pregnant women so that they can receive subsidy on whooping cough vaccine?
Secretary for Food and Health: First of all, about the Elderly Health Care Voucher, we noticed that there is an increase in complaints about the use of the Elderly Health Care Voucher. Therefore, we have started a review on the use of Elderly Health Care Voucher, including its original intended objectives and whether there is any abuse. Also, we are taking into account the comments from service providers as well as consumers. We also take note of the local studies that look into whether the Elderly Health Care Voucher is used in a way that fits into its original intended objectives. We are looking into all these issues and comment, and hopefully come up with some measures to ensure that there is no abuse or the current situation can be improved. We have already started the review. Once we have confirmed (to introduce) some measures, we shall make announcement.
Secondly, about the whooping cough, the Centre for Health Protection Scientific Committee (on Vaccine Preventable Diseases) has come up with some recommendations about providing vaccine to pregnant women. The Government is now looking into these recommendations and sees how we can move forward with the recommendations.
(Please also refer to the Chinese portion of the transcript.)
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