Dear Hospital Authority,

In the UK Hospital trusts keep a register of payments from pharmaceutical companies (and other relevant companies) to staff, in case of conflicts of interest (COIs). In the US, these disclosures are managed on a national level by the federal government, and this data is available through the publicly searchable Open Payments website. I would like to know if Hong Kong has a similar COI register, and if so I would like to access it under the code on access to information.

If you do have a gifts and hospitality/COI register I would hope it includes details of all relevant payments to staff and any related potential conflicts of interest. Getting this data for the financial year 2015/16 would be sufficient for my needs. If it would be possible to have this information in an appropriate structured data format - for example, a CSV file - this would be helpful. If the Hospital Authority does not have a register, I would request: the release of the information on this topic that you or your hospitals do hold; and an explanation of why Hong Kong does not hold a complete register.

I am also requesting the number of hospital staff members who have been the subject of internal investigations or disciplinary proceedings in relation to purported conflicts of interest, or the failure to declare them, and the outcomes of these investigations or proceedings.

Yours faithfully,

Scott Edmunds, PhD

For more see: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2017-0...

Enquiry (Hospital Authority), 醫院管理局

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Enquiry (Hospital Authority), 醫院管理局

Dear Dr Edmunds,

 

Thank you for your application for information dated 28 March 2018.

 

As the processing of your request involves consultation with the
department concerned, we are unable to provide you with the information
sought at this stage.  You will be advised further in relation to your
request on or before 17 April 2018.

 

Should you have any questions in the meantime, please do not hesitate to
contact me.

 

 

 

Yours sincerely,

Sandy Chu(Miss)

Access to Information Officer

Hospital Authority Head Office

(Tel. 2300 6568/2300 6555)

 

Enquiry (Hospital Authority), 醫院管理局

1 Attachment

Dear Dr Edmunds,

 

Further to our reply dated 4 April 2018, please find below the Hospital
Authority’s response to your items:

 

(1)      The Hospital Authority (HA) is responsible for the management of
public hospitals in Hong Kong. The HA is not aware that Hong Kong has the
kind of “conflicts of interest” register you mentioned.

 

(2)      The HA has all along established policies and guidelines to
ensure its employees will observe conflict of interest and comply with the
Prevention of Bribery Ordinance. The HA employees must not solicit any
advantage from any commercial company that may have business dealings with
the HA, and must obtain prior written approval from the HA Head
Office/hospital, as appropriate, if any advantage is offered by a
commercial company which has business dealings with the HA. As the
approval authority is delegated to hospital level, a central database on
acceptance of advantages/gifts or conflict of interest register for all
hospitals is not available.  According to paragraph 1.14 of the Code on
Access to Information, the Code does not oblige departments to create a
record which does not exist. 

 

(3)      For your reference, please find attached an HA Head Office
circular which summarises the prevailing policies and procedures for all
HA employees on the subject of conflict of interest. Please note that the
circular is not to be disclosed to any other parties.

 

(4)      The HA is not able to explain why Hong Kong does not hold a
complete register as such issue falls outside the purview of the HA.

 

(5)      The HA does not compile statistics about hospital staff members
who have been the subject of internal investigations or disciplinary
proceedings in relation to purported conflicts of interests, or failure to
declare them. The information you requested is not available. According to
paragraph 1.14 of the Code on Access to Information, the Code does not
oblige departments to create a record which does not exist. 

 

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions about this
reply.

 

 

 

Yours sincerely,

Sandy Chu (Miss)

Access to Information Officer

Hospital Authority Head Office

(Tel.: 2300 6568/2300 6555)

 

From: [1][Hospital Authority request email]
Sent: Wednesday, April 04, 2018 6:22 PM
To: [2][FOI #261 email]
Subject: (Scott Edmunds) Freedom of Information request - COI register for
Hong Kong hospitals

 

Dear Dr Edmunds,

 

Thank you for your application for information dated 28 March 2018.

 

As the processing of your request involves consultation with the
department concerned, we are unable to provide you with the information
sought at this stage.  You will be advised further in relation to your
request on or before 17 April 2018.

 

Should you have any questions in the meantime, please do not hesitate to
contact me.

 

 

 

Yours sincerely,

Sandy Chu(Miss)

Access to Information Officer

Hospital Authority Head Office

(Tel. 2300 6568/2300 6555)

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