More medical students needed

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 12 April, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 12 April, 2011, 12:00am


The government wants the city's two medical schools to train more doctors to overcome a severe staff shortage at public hospitals.

The plan calls for admissions to rise from 320 to about 420.

The intake of medical students has fluctuated over the past decade, from 340 in 2001 to 280 in 2003, then down to 250 in 2006 and up again to the present 320.

In a Legislative Council panel meeting yesterday, lawmaker Audrey Eu Yuet-mee expressed concern that some doctors in public hospitals worked up to 100 hours a week. She said this heavy workload was a reason why many of them left for private hospitals.

Dr Leung Pak-yin, chief executive of the Hospital Authority, said it would put forward a list of measures to solve the problem. Doctors who worked after midnight would get paid more and more specialty doctors would be promoted to consultant positions.

Leung said manpower was always tight between April and June as doctors left for the private sector and new recruits could not join until after they graduated in July.