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Friday, Jan 21, 2022

Door opens for docs trained in mainland

Hong Kong residents trained in mainland medical schools will also be considered for returning to the city for practice without having to undergo an exam.
The Legislative Council passed a bill last month, allowing foreign-trained Hong Kong residents who graduated from a list of recognized medical schools to go into private practice without an exam after five years of public service.

It also facilitates overseas specialists who are non-Hong Kong residents to practice in Hong Kong through a special registration.

The Special Registration Committee under the Medical Council of Hong Kong is responsible for coming up with the list of recognized schools.

After its first meeting yesterday, committee chairwoman Grace Tang Wai-king said she expected the first batch of around 20 recognized medical schools can be announced between March and April next year.

She admitted that the committee will consider mainland medical schools, as well as those overseas.

While the committee members did not name any approved institutions, they have agreed on the principles for judging which schools can be approved.

The institutions must be on par with the medical schools of the University of Hong Kong and the Chinese University of Hong Kong in terms of international recognition, and their curriculum must also be similar to the two universities.

"If their language of teaching is English, then it will be better," she said. But Tang added that it is not required for all courses to be taught in English, and that the committee will also consider medical schools in the mainland.

When asked about the total number of institutions that the committee is reviewing and how many of them are in the mainland, Tang said she did not have such figures.

She also said the committee has invited the Hong Kong Council for the Accreditation of Academic and Vocational Qualifications to help with the review.

She said the committee will try to announce the names of the approved institutions in batches, so that doctors overseas can consider whether they would like to come back and work for Hong Kong.

It is estimated that the first batch of schools will consist of 10 to 20 institutions.

Under the scheme, doctors who graduated from recognized overseas medical schools can work in public medical institutions through a special registration. They can be officially licensed as doctors in Hong Kong after serving in public hospitals for five years, obtaining specialist qualifications and passing an assessment.

Overseas medical graduates and students who are Hong Kong residents can apply for internships in the SAR and receive specialist training for at least six years.

And non-Hong Kong residents who possess a specialist qualification can also practice in Hong Kong through a special registration.

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