Non-local doctor rules relaxed

August 31, 2021

(To watch the full press conference with sign language interpretation, click here.)


The Government today proposed changes to the Medical Registration (Amendment) Bill 2021 to reinforce its efforts to attract more qualified non-locally trained doctors to practise in Hong Kong.


The bill was introduced into the Legislative Council in June to meet the service demand and alleviate the frontline manpower shortage.


One of the proposed changes is to allow non-Hong Kong permanent residents holding recognised medical qualifications and specialist qualifications to apply for special registration in Hong Kong.


Explaining the changes at a press conference this afternoon, Secretary for Food & Health Prof Sophia Chan said safeguards will be in place to ensure that only those who are qualified are allowed to work in Hong Kong.


“While we are trying our best to amend this law in order to attract more non-locally trained doctors to come to Hong Kong, we are very careful about ensuring the quality of these doctors.


“First is obviously the recognised qualifications that we require. Second is if they have a specialist qualification, then it would have to be recognised by the Hong Kong Academy of Medicine and its respective colleges.”


The Government also proposes to enable non-locally trained medical graduates who are Hong Kong permanent residents and possess the recognised medical qualifications to be eligible to take the Licensing Examination in Hong Kong, irrespective of whether a period of internship is inclusive in their medical training.


A bridging arrangement is also being proposed for limited registration doctors to migrate to a special registration regime.


Prof Chan added that the proposals will be forwarded to the committee formed earlier to scrutinise the bill and she hopes the second reading debate on it can be resumed before the end of the current legislative session.

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