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Tripartite Platform on Amendment of Medical Registration Ordinance holds second meeting
     The Tripartite Platform set up to enhance the operation of the Medical Council of Hong Kong held its second meeting today (December 13). Members continued to discuss the composition of the Council and its complaint investigation and disciplinary inquiry mechanism, as well as registration arrangement for non-locally trained doctors.
     During the discussion of these items, members made reference to the relevant mechanisms and experience of the United Kingdom (UK), Australia and Singapore.
     On composition, half and one-third of the members of the medical regulatory bodies in the UK and Australia respectively are lay members, while there is no lay membership in the case of Singapore. In Hong Kong, there are four lay members in the Medical Council, accounting for about 14 per cent of the total membership. Members of the regulatory bodies in the UK and Australia do not directly participate in the work of complaint investigation and disciplinary inquiries, while members of the regulatory body in Singapore do have a certain degree of involvement. Disciplinary inquiries against doctors in these three countries are either handled by an independent tribunal under the regulatory bodies or referred to judicial authorities. Adjudicators responsible for disciplinary inquiries are not members of the regulatory bodies in the UK and Australia. In Hong Kong, complaint investigation and disciplinary inquiries against doctors are directly processed by the Council and handled mainly by its members.
     As for the registration arrangement of non-locally trained doctors, while there are different registration pathways available for non-locally trained doctors in the UK, Australia and Singapore, all of them directly recognise medical qualifications obtained in certain jurisdictions or from specified overseas medical schools. Licensing examination is not a mandatory requirement in the UK and Australia and there is no such arrangement in Singapore. In Hong Kong, all non-locally trained doctors are required to pass the licensing examination for full registration and practice. Non-locally trained doctors under limited registration are not required to take the licensing examination, but they can only be employed under the types of employment as promulgated by the Medical Council in the Government Gazette. Most doctors with limited registration are registered under Promulgation Number 2, i.e. they are employed by the medical schools of the Chinese University of Hong Kong and the University of Hong Kong, the Hospital Authority (HA) and the Department of Health (DH). At present, there are about 100 doctors registered under such promulgation, with a majority being employed by the two medical schools, 14 by the HA and none by the DH.
     The Tripartite Platform will meet in January and February next year to discuss possible proposals on amendments to the Medical Registration Ordinance for enhancing the composition of the Medical Council and improving its complaint investigation and disciplinary inquiry mechanism for greater credibility, transparency and efficiency. The Government will re-introduce the Medical Registration (Amendment) Bill into the Legislative Council as early as possible in the first half of next year.
     Information and discussion papers of the second meeting are available at the website of the Food and Health Bureau (www.fhb.gov.hk/en/press_and_publications/otherinfo/161100_tripartite_platform/index.html).
Ends/Tuesday, December 13, 2016
Issued at HKT 20:40
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