Two major organisations are vying to be the sole organiser of ongoing medical education programmes for general practitioners (GPs) in Hong Kong. The Medical Association, Hong Kong's biggest professional body for doctors, and the Academy of Medicine, which is responsible for specialists' training, both said they should be the provider and auditor of the programmes, aimed at Hong Kong's 2,000-odd non-specialists. The Medical Council, a regulatory body of the medical profession, has asked the two groups to present their plans in two months. The Medical Association recently endorsed a plan to co-ordinate all education programmes, under which doctors who complete the basic 15-hour study in one year will be given a certificate. They can display the certificates, issued by the association, in their clinics. Co-chairman of the Medical Association's committee organising the programmes Dr Louis Shih Tai-cho said the education would be 'completely voluntary' and participants would not have to take any examination. He said the association wanted to encourage doctors to update themselves with medical advances. 'We think the study should not be mandatory at this stage and we will review the situation in three years.' However, the Academy of Medicine argues it was in a better position to organise the programmes. 'We have many specialists and they are qualified to accredit the programmes. We have most of the expertise,' one academy source said. But many GPs accuse the academy of being 'big brother', saying the academy does not accept GPs as members.