New Career Structure Mapped out for Public Hospital Doctors

The following is issued on behalf of the Hospital Authority:

     After months' discussion with the Doctors Staff Group Consultative Committee (DSGCC) and frontline doctors unions, the Hospital Authority (HA) today (August 29) announced the new career structure for doctors in public hospitals which will be implemented on October 1, 2007.

     "I would like to express my sincere appreciation to the DSGCC and union representatives involved in working out this final proposal on the career structure for doctors, which reflects our respect for the views and aspirations of frontline doctors of different ranks and specialties, and is also financially achievable and sustainable given our valuable public resources," remarked Mr Shane Solomon, Chief Executive of HA.

     Dr Cheung Wai-lun, Director (Cluster Services), who oversees HA's reform projects for doctors, said that the new structure is designed to motivate staff by rewarding experience, performance and willingness to take up new responsibilities and also enhancing career progress to facilitate long-term career planning.

     In addressing frontline doctors' concern for "equal work, unequal pay", all serving Residents will be migrated, on October 1, 2007, to the corresponding pay point on the revised pay scale based on their prevailing years of service and qualification attained.

     "Pay point for new doctors will be raised by 3 points to attract new comers. The ceiling of the pay scale will be lifted by 8 points with a view to retaining specialists. Doctors who have passed their specialist examinations will also have increments in recognition of their progress," explained Dr Cheung.

     To dovetail the proposed career structure of Residents, HA will also revise the pay scale for Associate Consultants from the previous Point 40-44B to Point 45-49.

     Dr Duncan Ho, President of the Public Doctors Association (HKPDA), also welcomed the proposed structure and appreciated the initiative of HA to further work on the details of some other areas which HKPDA has contributed solid suggestions.

     Dr Ho said, "the PDA will continue to communicate with the HA management to pursue on areas of further improvements including the development of workforce composition parameters, in particular, senior to junior ratios which will help frontline doctors predict promotion opportunities.

     "At the same time, the PDA will also contribute frontline views to the establishment of a fairer selection mechanism for senior specialists which addresses inter-cluster variations."

     Dr Ernie Lo, Chairman of the Frontline Doctors Union (FDU), while reiterating the Union's concern for "equal work, unequal pay", appreciated HA's move to adjust the pay of doctors recruited after year 2000. He agreed that the enhanced contract arrangement can help allay junior doctors' concern on job security thus enabling them to concentrate on specialist training and focus on patient care.

     Dr Lo said "the FDU will keep on communicating with the HA on related pay issues and the creation of appropriate working and training environment for frontline doctors in the future".

     Mr Solomon reiterated that HA would continue to communicate with the doctors unions on other improvement areas such as the modernisation of post titles for specialists to recognise the functions they performed.

     In an open letter issued to all HA doctors today, he appealed for their continued support and dedication in collaboratively resolving the upcoming challenges, including the doctors work reform which aims to provide a healthier and effective work environment for doctors.

Ends/Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Issued at HKT 19:23