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Non-local doctors boost training

The Food & Health Bureau today said the admission of more qualified non-locally trained Hong Kong doctors, especially specialists, to work in public healthcare can help increase the number of trainers and expand the overall training capacity.   The bureau made the statement in response to recent discussions on specialist training provided by the Hospital Authority to non-locally trained Hong Kong doctors.   It said the authority has been facing an ever-increasing service demand against an insufficient supply of local medical graduates for over 10 years.   Along with the high attrition rate of doctors, the doctor turnover could not be adequately replaced and new service programmes could not be provided with optimal manpower over the past years, the bureau added.   With the increase in the number of local medical graduates starting from 2018-19, the authority has accordingly increased the number of Resident Trainee posts, with a view to employing all qualified local medical graduates and providing relevant specialist training. However, it is still facing a doctor manpower shortage.   As at 2019-20, the cumulative number of Resident Trainees shortfall is around 260, in addition to the attrition of around 320 full-time equivalent doctors.   According to the authority, it was not able to fill all vacant Resident Trainee posts in the past few years.   Against such, further to recruitment of local graduates, the authority is also recruiting non-locally trained doctors under limited registration, which also serves as one of the measures to alleviate the heavy workload of frontline doctors.   The authority has been collaborating with the Hong Kong Academy of Medicine and its colleges to facilitate specialist training of the non-locally trained doctors under limited registration. At present, a number of colleges in the academy have been accepting non-locally trained doctors under limited registration for continuation of specialist training in Hong Kong.    Four specialties, namely Emergency Medicine, Family Medicine, Internal Medicine and Paediatrics in the authority are accepting applicants with pre-intermediate qualifications for recruitment.   The bureau said the Government will schedule a meeting with representatives of the authority, the academy and its colleges after the Lunar New Year to discuss ways to provide more specialist training opportunities for both locally and non-locally trained Hong Kong doctors, including more training resources, manpower and materials. 
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