Medical Registration (Amendment) Bill 2021
Over the years, Hong Kong has been facing a serious shortage of doctors. This could be fully reflected by its per capita doctor ratio, which lags behind other advanced economies. Currently, Hong Kong has a ratio of two doctors per 1 000 population, far below the ratio in Singapore (2.5), Japan (2.5), the United States (2.6), the United Kingdom (3.0) and Australia (3.8).
According to the “Healthcare Manpower Projection 2020” with base year at 2017 conducted by FHB, there will be a continuous shortage of doctors into the long term in the light of the projection of healthcare needs with regard to demographic changes. The projected shortfall of doctors in 2030 and 2040 will be 1 610 and 1 949 respectively.
The shortage of doctors is particularly evident in the public healthcare sector. According to the “Healthcare Manpower Projection 2020”, there was a shortfall of 660 and 49 specialists and specialists-to-be in the Hospital Authority and the Department of Health respectively in 2020. The projected manpower shortage of the Hospital Authority and the Department of Health will reach 800 and 51 as well as 960 and 51 in 2030 and 2040 respectively.
Currently, the long waiting time of specialty services in the public sector could be mainly attributed to the shortage of doctors. Given the lead time required for training local doctors and the practical constraints in enhancing the training capacity of the two medical schools, the Government cannot solely rely on increasing the number of local training places to address the manpower problem. In fact, non-locally trained doctors were once an important source of doctor supply in Hong Kong when medical qualifications of recognized Commonwealth countries were recognized by the Medical Council of Hong Kong for registration before September 1996.
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, subject to certain criteria being met.
- 4 February 2021 (Opening remarks by CE at LegCo Chief Executive's Question and Answer Session (with video))
- 5 February 2021 (Government responds to media enquiries on proposed admission of non-locally trained Hong Kong doctors)
- 8 February 2021 (Government responds to specialist training provided to non-locally trained doctors in Hong Kong)
- 18 May 2021 (Medical Registration (Amendment) Bill 2021 to be introduced into LegCo)
- 26 May 2021 (Government responds to an online article on "Medical Registration (Amendment) Bill 2021")
- 28 May 2021 (Government responds to unfounded remarks concerning professional autonomy of medical profession being undermined by Medical Registration (Amendment) Bill 2021)
- 2 June 2021 (Chinese only) (立法會：食物及衞生局局長動議二讀《2021年醫生註冊（修訂）條例草案》發言全文)
- 31 August 2021 (Chinese only) (食物及衞生局局長《2021年醫生註冊（修訂）條例草案》記者會開場發言（附圖／短片）)
- 4 September 2021 ( FHB exchanges views with HKAM on Medical Registration (Amendment) Bill 2021)
- 21 October 2021 (Chinese only) (食物及衞生局局長就恢復二讀辯論《2021年醫生註冊（修訂）條例草案》發言全文)
- 21 October 2021 (Chinese only) (食物及衞生局局長在全體委員會審議階段就《2021年醫生註冊（修訂）條例草案》動議修正案的開場發言全文)
- 21 October 2021 (Chinese only) (食物及衞生局局長在全體委員會審議階段就《2021年醫生註冊（修訂）條例草案》動議修正案的總結發言全文)
- 21 October 2021 (Chinese only) (食物及衞生局局長就《2021年醫生註冊（修訂）條例草案》三讀通過會見傳媒談話內容（一）)
- 21 October 2021 (Chinese only) (食物及衞生局局長就《2021年醫生註冊（修訂）條例草案》三讀通過會見傳媒談話內容（二）)
- 12 November 2021 (Government appoints Special Registration Committee under Medical Registration Ordinance)
- 27 April 2022 (Announcement of first batch of recognised medical qualifications under Medical Registration Ordinance)
- 6 May 2022 (SFH promotes new pathway to medical students and practitioners in Australia on admitting qualified non-locally trained doctors to practise in Hong Kong)
- Severe Shorage of Doctors in the Public Healthcare Institutions Makes Service Improvement Difficult
- Long Waiting Time for Public Healthcare Services
- Doctor-to-population Ratio in Hong Kong Lags Behind Other Advanced Economies
- Cannot Solely Rely on Increasing the Number of Local Training Places to Address Our Healthcare Needs
- Significant Drop in the Number of Non-locally Trained Doctors