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Balanced approach to curbing virus

(To watch the full media session with sign language interpretation, click here.)   Chief Executive John Lee today said he has asked the Secretary for Health to review the current anti-epidemic measures, aiming to strike a balance between containing the virus spread and reducing the inconvenience to travellers.   Meeting the media this morning before chairing the first meeting of the new-term Executive Council, Mr Lee said the Secretary for Health is considering how the duration of quarantine should be handled.   “I am giving him time to look at the statistics so that he will formulate some options for me to consider.”   At the same time, the Government will strive to keep the COVID-19 pandemic under control and protect those who are more vulnerable to the virus, he noted.   “One of the important measures is to make good use of the polymerase chain reaction-based nucleic acid test so that we can be certain that we will be able to identify those who are infected early, separate

Doctor registration pathway mooted

(To watch the full press conference with sign language interpretation, click here.)   The Government will introduce the Medical Registration (Amendment) Bill 2021 into the Legislative Council to create a new pathway for admission of qualified non-locally trained doctors to practise in Hong Kong.   Secretary for Food &Health Prof Sophia Chan told at a press conference this afternoon there is a severe shortage of doctors in Hong Kong.   According to the Healthcare Manpower Projection 2020 conducted by the Food & Health Bureau, the projected shortfall of doctors will reach 1,610 in 2030 and 1,949 in 2040.   Prof Chan said the Government sees an imminent case to create a new pathway for qualified non-locally trained doctors to obtain full registration in Hong Kong as an alternative to the current pathway of passing the Licensing Examination.   She pointed out that a non-locally trained doctor has to be a Hong Kong permanent resident and fulfil certain criteria.   “The assessment at work is only one of the assessments to determine the competence and also the standard of the candidate.     “As I reiterated earlier, the candidate would have to first, get his or her medical degree from a medical school in the list that is accredited.   “Second, he or she would have to get medical registration in the place where (the medical school they studied is located).   “And third, they would have to get a job from the employer, that is the public healthcare sector - the Hospital Authority, Department of Health, or the two universities’ (the University of Hong Kong and the Chinese University of Hong Kong) medical schools, and obviously there are on-the-job assessments.”   For the purpose of determining the list of recognised medical qualifications awarded by non-local medical schools, the bill also stipulates that a statutory Special Registration Committee be established.   The committee will determine the list of recognised medical qualifications taking into account the medium of instruction and the curriculum of the medical programmes concerned, international rankings of the non-local medical schools and any other aspects deemed appropriate, Prof Chan added.   The bill will be gazetted on May 21 and will then be introduced into LegCo on June 2.
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