Panel appointed as part of overseas doctors plan

The government on Friday announced the establishment of a new committee that will determine a list of recognised non-local medical qualifications to enable Hong Kong to bring in doctors from elsewhere.

Professor Grace Tang, an honorary clinical professor from the University of Hong Kong, has been appointed as chairwoman of the Special Registration Committee (SRC), while patients’ rights advocate Chan Wing-kai, lawyer Tennessy Hui and former Hospital Authority chairman Anthony Wu have been selected as members. Their three-year terms will begin on Monday.

The committee also has six ex-officio members. They are the director of health, the chief executive of the Hospital Authority, the chairman of the Medical Council, the president of the Hong Kong Academy of Medicine, and the deans of the two local medical schools.

The government said it expects the committee to come up with its list within the first half of next year.

Last month, Legco passed a bill to allow non-locally trained doctors to practise in Hong Kong without taking a local licensing exam, despite opposition from the medical sector.

Non-locally trained doctors with recognised medical qualifications will be able to apply for special registration to practise in public healthcare institutions. After working for at least five years and obtaining a recognised specialist qualification, they can be granted full registration to practise in Hong Kong.

“Given Professor Tang’s wealth of experience in medical education and public service, I am confident that the SRC is capable of discharging its statutory duties effectively under her leadership and will be able to draw up the list of recognised medical qualifications as soon as possible,” Health Secretary Sophia Chan said.