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Tuesday, Jul 23, 2024

70 Guangdong nurses to work in HK geriatric wards

Seventy nurses from Guangdong will work under the supervision of local nurses in geriatric wards at public hospitals, after they arrived in the SAR under a new Greater Bay Area exchange program for medics, the Hospital Authority said.
The nurses will observe hospital operations and familiarize themselves with the working environment and medical terms used in Hong Kong during the first week of arrival.

The nurses are among 83 medics who have arrived in the SAR to help ease the manpower shortage in the public medical sector.

Leung Ming, a senior executive manager of the HA nursing division, said the 70 high-quality nurses have been deployed to seven hospital clusters based on their experience and preference and will work in the SAR for 10.5 months.

"The nurses worked in the geriatrics department in the mainland so they have relevant experience and knowledge," Leung said.

"They'll be supervised by local nurses because we want to protect patients' safety, as well as enhance interaction between mainland and Hong Kong workers. They'll spend some time familiarizing themselves with the medical terms and working environment in Hong Kong," he added.

The nurses will not work independently and they can relieve the manpower shortage cause by the brain drain in public hospitals, Leung said.

The Guangdong medics have an average of eight years of clinical experience and more than half of them have a master's degree, Leung said, adding that most of them worked at top hospitals in the mainland.

The nurses underwent written tests and interviews before coming to Hong Kong and the HA also sent over staff to observe the selection process, he said. All 70 nurses speak fluent Cantonese, Leung said, adding that they also have a good command of English and can use the English computer system.

Another 230 nurses will come to Hong Kong in two batches, with the first batch of 100 medics coming to the SAR at the end of the year at the earliest.

The HA provides professional insurance for employees in case of medical incidents and all mainland medics will be covered in the insurance plan, said Leung.

Secretary for Health Lo Chung-mau that said some of the 83 mainland medics came to Hong Kong to work during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Lo said the exchange program could boost knowledge exchanges and cooperation between Hong Kong and mainland medics.

But medical sector lawmaker David Lam Tzit-yuen said that the help of Guangdong medics might not be enough, as the SAR is in need of hundreds of medical workers: "The number of mainland medics may not cover Hong Kong's manpower need but their arrival will still be helpful to public hospitals."

He added that medical services in Hong Kong are of high quality and medical workers being allowed to work in the city must be qualified.
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