The number of doctors registered to practise in the territory is growing so fast there might soon be an oversupply, the Academy of Medicine warned yesterday. President Dr David Fang Jin-sheng said there was one doctor for every 780 people, but the ratio was expected to fall unless steps were taken to limit the supply of doctors. There were just under 8,000 registered doctors, but the number was expected to grow to 13,500 by 2010. If steps were not taken, the ratio would fall to one doctor for every 580 people by 2010, he said. Universities should cut their annual intake of 270 medical students a year to prevent an oversupply, Dr Fang added. The number of people per doctor in Japan was 625, while in Britain it was 714 and in the United States 435. Dr Fang said the supply in Hong Kong would increase further as traditional Chinese medicine practitioners became licensed. Six thousand practitioners of Chinese medicine will finish registration later this year, while the three universities have also started a degree course in Chinese medicine. But despite the increasing number of doctors the supply of family doctors was far from adequate, Dr Fang said. The academy has about 2,800 Fellows in 15 specialties but only 92 are in the family medicine specialty. 'The Government has been urged to develop family health care since 1990 but nothing has been done,' he said.