Setting the record straight
I refer to the report headlined, 'Hospital staff's pay slashed' (South China Morning Post, April 1), and would like to clarify the misleading statement in the lead paragraph.
Our press release stated clearly, regarding the new funding arrangement with the Government and the resultant changes in the allowance benefits, that the new remuneration package would only apply to new recruits from April 1. So, it is incorrect to say that 'all medical staff will have their monthly pay packets slashed . . . from today', and also inaccurate to mention only the 'medical staff', as the package covers all new authority staff.
Also, the story headlined, 'Doctors vow to act if authority strips their titles' (Post, March 27), needs to be put in the proper perspective.
The Hong Kong Medical Council recently set up a specialist register. Doctors who have completed a structural specialist training programme, usually lasting six years, are recognised by the council as a specialist in the stated field of medicine.
The training requirements of medical specialists in Hong Kong are determined by the Hong Kong Academy of Medicine. Registered medical practitioners aspiring to become medical specialists have to undergo a six-year structured specialist training programme defined by the Colleges of the Academy.
Medical practitioners doing these training programmes are recognised as 'specialist trainees' by the colleges. Hospital Authority hospitals provide the 'training grounds' for specialists. To ensure quality patient care, delivered by the clinical team, the authority is reinforcing the two-tier system of 'specialists' and 'specialist trainees'.
This will ensure clear delineation of clinical accountability between 'specialists' and 'specialist trainees', as recognised by the Colleges of the Academy. There is no proposal to change the post titles of the doctors in the authority to 'specialist trainees'.
It was decided to revise the on-cost arrangement for new authority employees, so that the principle of cost comparability between remuneration packages of civil servants and Hospital Authority employees is adhered to.
Dr KO WING-MAN Deputy Director (Operations) Hospital Authority