• Tue
  • Oct 21, 2014
  • Updated: 1:47am
NewsHong Kong

New courses for medical graduates 'won't worsen doctor shortage'

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 10 November, 2013, 2:38pm
UPDATED : Monday, 11 November, 2013, 2:29pm

New postgraduate courses being offered to medical students will not worsen a manpower shortage at public hospitals, the dean of the University of Hong Kong's medical faculty said yesterday.

Professor Gabriel Leung said he expected few graduates to take on the new postgraduate courses in public health, clinical scientific studies or pursue a second degree in law at HKU. The courses will run for between one and four years and offer graduates an alternative career path to becoming practising doctors.

"I expect there won't be more than 10 to 20 of them a year, as they have to consider investing more time," he said, adding that the annual intake of students for HKU's six-year medical course, one of only two in the city, increased from 160 to 210 last year.

Leung said a government steering committee on health-care manpower and professional development, of which he is a member, was collecting data on the shortfall.

Health chief Dr Ko Wing-man said in June that the shortfall in the number of doctors at public hospitals had increased from 250 to 290 in the last year. Many junior doctors have moved to the private sector in recent years, with a lack of opportunities for promotion cited as one of the reasons.

Leung said one way to cut waiting times would be for the more flexible private sector to offer more beds and divert patients from public hospitals.


For unlimited access to:

SCMP.com SCMP Tablet Edition SCMP Mobile Edition 10-year news archive



This article is now closed to comments

One more thing to consider is the future doctor's productivity or the commitment to their job. With the new generation looking for a better life balance, they are not that willing to work long hour or receive training in more demanding specialities like surgery. It is reasonable to expect the period the new doctor to stay in public hospital will be shorter than before. Medical staff shortage of different ranks in public hospital is an acute problem which is worsening. Importing foreign doctors should be implemented more quickly and in a much bigger scale and CY Leung should move forward amid protection from the doctor assoication as he did in the TV license. However, it is disappointing to see the recent population policy did not touch on this even though we know HK is facing mounting pressure in different aspects from the aging population.
There is no reason stated by Dr. Leung why for the additional trainings for medical students especially in law. Nor has he explained why such additional trainings won’t affect supply of doctors otherwise. He seems to justify mathematically by a higher intake of medical students. More justification for the additional education for the graduates is “they have to consider investing more time and their youth”.
With evidence of both patient waiting times and staff working hours in public hospitals are long, Dr. Leung stated that there is no shortage of doctors but will investigate.
I advise Dr. Leung to step down from his current duty as a dean and a member of government steering committee. He should take up more education himself in common sense to safeguard the efficient training of medical doctors and hence medical service for Hong Kong.
I can’t believe what I've read of his interview. A pack of incestuous talk right on the public's face.
Dr. Leung is sick to the core.


SCMP.com Account