Excerpts from the South China Morning Post this week in 1969 A shortage of doctors prompted the government to announce improvements in service conditions for doctors working in the Medical and Health Department. From November, doctors were to receive special housing allowances, greater promotion opportunities and all women doctors were to be given equal pay. No salary increases were announced, but the government said the salaries of doctors in the civil service were to be reviewed along with other professional and administrative salaries. A pilot scheme to employ private doctors in government clinics was to be implemented immediately. The scheme would operate on a three-month trial basis in one government clinic on each side of the harbour. The new service conditions were based on recommendations contained in a report prepared by a special committee appointed by the governor earlier in the year to study the problem. The report said the Medical and Health Department needed more than 230 new doctors to be fully staffed and that the actual staffing situation was worse than government figures suggested. The government had 550 doctors on staff and was listing 70 vacancies. To fully staff all institutions and have sufficient doctors to cover those on study and vacation leave, the department theoretically needed 785 doctors, the report said. A reduced supply of new accommodation completed since January led to an acute shortage of residential premises in the colony. A government report said the situation could be compared to 1961, when the large post-war building explosion was halted by banking troubles in 1965. Many expatriate workers in Hong Kong were living in expensive hotels because of the crippling flat shortage. A spokesman for the Hongkong Hilton said that during the previous six months, 20 rooms had been rented out on that basis and were paid for by different companies. The Hotel Miramar had at least five suites rented by business concerns and more than 10 rooms were occupied by airline employees. The government had long-term contracts in a number of hotels to accommodate newly arrived government officials. Leading Hong Kong Jaycee Hilton Cheong-leen suggested the government should introduce compulsory, part-time service in essential and volunteer services to help develop a sense of identity with Hong Kong and keep down internal defence costs. In the keynote address at the opening of the fourth national convention of Hong Kong Jaycees, the urban councillor said all Hong Kong-born men from the age of 18 should be conscripted for a minimum of 18 months and remain on the reserve list afterwards until they turned 30. The proposed service should not interfere with their regular employment and the young men ought to be paid for the hours they served, he said. Two Philippine nationals were arrested in a Tsim Sha Tsui hotel following the seizure at the airport of three suitcases full of gun spare parts and ammunition. The suitcases were left unclaimed in the customs hall of the terminal building after all the passengers of an Air Vietnam plane from Saigon had passed through. The gun parts were found undisguised and unconcealed inside the suitcases. Travel health regulations were to be strictly enforced to combat cholera, which had resurfaced in Hong Kong. Anyone arriving in the territory had to have a valid international vaccination certificate against cholera. Travellers from Macau without valid certificates were liable to be sent back. Macau was declared cholera infected by its own government in September. The year 1969 was geared to set a record for foreign tourists visiting Macau. The Tourism Information Bureau confidently predicted that the record set in 1966 would be passed that month. The total figure for the first nine months of the year showed that 116,194 visitors went to Macau. The 1966 record was 122,188.