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Fraudulent certificates deemed invalid

The Government announced today the COVID-19 vaccination medical exemption certificates issued by seven private doctors will not be accepted and will be deemed invalid from October 12.   According to the information provided by Police, the seven private doctors are involved in its arrest operations to date for allegedly abusing the issuance of medical exemption certificates. The legal proceedings are ongoing for some of those cases.   The Government pointed out that according to the eHealth records, the seven private doctors have issued in total over 20,000 medical exemption certificates which are still within the validity period, accounting for more than half of the medical exemption certificates that are still valid.   It has reasonable grounds to suspect that the private doctors concerned did not properly follow the Department of Health’s guidelines when issuing the medical exemption certificates.   In this regard, the Government will no longer accept the medical exemption ce

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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