Dr. York Chow Yat-ngok is an orthopaedic surgeon by profession, and graduated from HKU. Dr. Chow served as Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon at the Princess Margaret Hospital in 1983 and later the Consultant Orthpaedic Surgeon at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.
With the establishment of the Hospital Authority, Dr. Chow switched over to hospital and healthcare administration. He was appointed Hospital Chief Executive of Queen Elizabeth Hospital in 1992 and Hospital Chief Executive of Queen Mary Hospital in 2001. He was subsequently appointed Cluster Chief Executive of the Hong Kong West Cluster of the Hong Kong Hospital Authority in 2002.
Dr. Chow was appointed by the Chief Executive of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and the Central Government to be the Secretary for Health, Welfare and Food from 2004 to 2007, and again the Secretary for Food and Health from 2007 to 2012.
During his term as Secretary, Dr. Chow introduced new anti-tobacco law and policies, healthcare service and manpower reform for public and private services, food safety law and regulations, marine conservation ordinance, and handled multiple public health and good safety crises.
Dr. Chow was appointed as the Chairperson of Equal Opportunities Commission from April 2013 to March 2016.
Dr. Chow is an Honorary Professor of the HKU Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, and an Honorary Professor in Rehabilitation Science at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. He was appointed by the Ministry of Health of China, as Special Advisors respectively to the Chinese Hospital Association, Chinese Medical Association, and the Chinese Association on to Tobacco Control.
Dr. Chow was a sportsman since his youth, and represented Hong Kong in Badminton. He was voted the Omega Sportsman of the Year in 1969 while he was representing the University of Hong Kong. With his life time passion in sports, he has served as, inter alia, President of the Hong Kong Association of Sports Medicine and Sports Science, Vice-Chairman of the HK Sports Development Board, and Vice-Chairman of the Hong Kong Sports Institute. Currently he was appointed International Ambassador for Squash, and aiming to get the sport into the Olympic Games.
His interest in sports for people with disabilities started while he was caring for his orthopaedic patients, and he served respectively as team doctor, coach, Vice-Chairman, Chairman, and President of the Hong Kong Paralympic Committee and the Sports Association for the Physically Disabled since 1981. He was elected by the international members as an Executive Committee member of the International Paralympic Committee since its inauguration from 1989 to 2005, and was elected twice as its Vice-President from 1997 to 2005.
Dr. Chow was awarded the Paralympic Order by the International Paralympic Committee, and a member of the Paralympic Family in 2005.
Dr. Chow was awarded MBE by the British Government in 1995, a Silver Bauhinia Star in 2001, and a Gold Bauhinia Star by the Hong Kong SAR Government in 2009.