Hong Kong abandons local license exams to tackle doctor shortage

File Photo: Doctors wear protest ribbons during picket of medical staff accusing police atrocities during anti-government protests at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Hong Kong, China, August 13, 2019.Reuters / Thomas Peter / File Photo

October 21, 2021

Hong Kong (Reuters) -Hong Kong legislature on Thursday allows foreign-trained doctors to practice in Chinese governing cities without taking a local license exam to alleviate the shortage of medical staff Passed, raising concerns about future medical standards.

More than 12 health care workers said May that some people see the law as the first step in replacing local doctors with doctors in mainland China who are concerned about health and safety standards. Told Reuters.

Health Minister Sophia Chan said Hong Kong is facing a serious shortage of doctors and the crisis is expected to “severely worsen” in the medium term.

“More qualified non-locally trained doctors need to come to Hong Kong to work in the public health system and introduce new ways to expand our doctors bank,” Chan said with the opposition. Not told the legislative council.

The council came from Pierre Chan, a member of the medical sector, who passed the bill with 39 votes in favor and 1 vote against.

“Most doctors aren’t worried about losing their jobs. Most doctors are against the bill because they suspect they can maintain their level,” he told the council. ..

In the COVID-19 pandemic, many countries around the world are facing a shortage of doctors, but the Hong Kong issue has been challenged by healthcare professionals cracking down on dissent following the enforcement of the National Security Act last year. It’s getting worse.

By treating protesters injured in a clash with police and demonstrating internally, 80,000 strong men during the 2019 anti-government and anti-China protests in which many workers supported the democratic movement. There was tension between the public health sector and officials in Hong Kong and Beijing. hospital.

Dozens of health workers were arrested, including nurse Winnie Yu, a former union leader of the hospital administration, under a drastic national security law imposed by Beijing.

A new licensing system announced earlier this year will allow doctors trained outside the former British colony to skip decades-old compulsory exams, which are considered to be the toughest in the world.

Initially limited to Hong Kong residents trained abroad, it still caused a backlash among many in the medical sector who believed it would lower medical standards at one of Asia’s top medical centers. I did.

The ratio of 2 doctors per 1,000 in Hong Kong is compared to an average of 3.4 per 1,000 in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development countries.

Government officials have dismissed concerns about lower medical standards. A special registration committee will be set up to determine a list of up to 100 medical colleges worldwide recognized as professionals in Hong Kong.

CEO Carrie Lam criticized medical personnel for “politicizing” government policy.

Hong Kong returned to China in 1997, promising continued freedom not enjoyed on the mainland. Officials in Beijing and Hong Kong have denied that national security law affects these freedoms.

(Report by Jessie Pang, Written by Marius Zaharia, Edited by Nick Macfie)

Hong Kong abandons local license exams to tackle doctor shortage

Source link Hong Kong abandons local license exams to tackle doctor shortage

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