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Jab service expands to mall

The Government’s outreach team for the first time, set up a temporary vaccination area to provide a walk-in COVID-19 vaccination service at a shopping mall in Kwun Tong today.   Secretary for the Civil Service Patrick Nip inspected its operation and presented prizes to winners of a lucky draw which was held to encourage the public to get vaccinated. He thanked the shopping mall for providing the venue and for joining the Government in promoting the vaccination campaign.   “This is the first time that our outreach service team has provided a COVID-19 vaccination walk-in service at a shopping mall to allow people who wanted to get vaccinated to do so immediately without prior booking.”   He noted that as the Government has started giving out consumption vouchers, citizens may use them at shopping centres.   “I hope that while they go shopping, they can also realise the importance and urgency of getting vaccinated,” he added.   Almost 300 people including shopping mall and offic

Admission of non-local doctors crucial

The Government said it is necessary to amend the Medical Registration Ordinance to create a new pathway to allow more qualified non-locally trained doctors to practise in Hong Kong's public healthcare sector to expand the city's pool of doctors.   In response to media enquiries on the proposed admission of non-locally trained Hong Kong doctors to practise in the city's public healthcare institutions, the Food & Health Bureau pointed out that it is an irrefutable fact that there is currently a shortage of doctors in Hong Kong.   For per capita doctor ratio, Hong Kong has a ratio of two doctors per 1,000 people which lags behind other advanced economies, including Singapore (2.5), Japan (2.5), the United States (2.6), the United Kingdom (3) and Australia (3.8).   The bureau said that there are insufficient doctors in the public healthcare sector.   Currently, the waiting time of specialty services in the Hospital Authority is extremely long. The waiting time for routine cases in some areas such as Medicine, Ophthalmology and Orthopaedics & Traumatology is over 100 weeks, the bureau said, adding the situation is unacceptable.   On the proposal to attract more qualified non-locally trained Hong Kong doctors to practise in public healthcare institutions, the bureau stressed that the licensing examination is not the only way to ensure the quality of doctors.   It said the proposal does not bypass the Medical Council of Hong Kong and there is a higher requirement for non-locally trained doctors.   The Government will meet representatives of the medical profession in batches starting next week and hold public consultation sessions to gauge public views.   It will then submit the Medical Registration (Amendment) Bill to the Legislative Council in the second quarter of the year.
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