Date
18 October 2017
Hong Kong has a shortage of 300 doctors. Temporary measures being proposed by the Hong Kong Medical Association include shorter internship and a three-year contract for qualified foreign doctors. Photo: Xinhua
Hong Kong has a shortage of 300 doctors. Temporary measures being proposed by the Hong Kong Medical Association include shorter internship and a three-year contract for qualified foreign doctors. Photo: Xinhua

HK urged to cut internship for foreign doctors to ease shortage

The Hong Kong Medical Association is calling for a shorter internship period for qualified foreign doctors, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reported Thursday.

In a letter to the Medical Council, the association is also proposing to put them under three-year contracts as part of temporary measures to ease a shortage of doctors in public hospitals.

Earlier, the council raised concerns about potential legal issues with a three-year fixed contract.

However, association chairman Choi Kin dismissed the concern, saying foreign doctors can choose the existing contract-free plus one-year internship scheme to qualify.

Vice chairman Alvin Chan said some foreign doctors are deterred by the internship but a shorter scheme will encourage them to come to Hong Kong.

Hong Kong is short of 300 doctors, according to Secretary for Food and Health Ko Wing-man, citing estimates in April. 

Two medical universities have expanded their training capacity to more than 500 graduates in five years.

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