Hong Kong can play a key role in unifying training system for medical workers

Hong Kong can play a key role in unifying training system for medical workers

The health chief of the city, NORA ZHENG CHINA DAILY, said that the city can play a role in unifying the training system for medical workers in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area in order to achieve a greater flow of talent and the integration of the healthcare sector into the 11 city cluster.

During an exclusive interview with China Daily, Secretary of Health Lo Chung-mau, a top-notch liver specialist, said that establishing a similar education and training system for medical workers in the GBA will help the region standardize its healthcare service.

Hong Kong s advantages in medical personnel training with its highly professional and internationalized specialist training system can play a role in achieving this lofty goal, Lo said.

If we can make use of this Hong Kong's very good training system and try to establish a similar training system in the Greater Bay Area, doctors in the whole area will be assured that the quality and standards are comparable, he added.

According to Lo, standardized training takes three years for residents on the mainland, while it takes at least six years for a medical graduate to become a specialist.

In addition to that, there are 15 constituent specialist colleges that offer training programs for specialists-to- be in the city. They have established a solid foundation for Hong Kong to maintain a high standard, and to operate as an international center of medical expertise.

Lo revealed that there is currently a pilot program being conducted between the Hong Kong Academy of Medicine, the city's statutory body responsible for the training of medical professionals and the Shenzhen Municipal People s Government.

He said that the program comprises a three-year residential training program under the national system and a four-year specialist training program that adopts Hong Kong standards, with the University of Hong Kong Shenzhen Hospital HKU-SZH as the testing platform.

Lo said that the medical program will continue to be expanded, covering the departments of oncology, obstetrics and gynecology. He hopes that in the future, specialist training in Shen-zhen and the entire Greater Bay Area will be comparable to that in Hong Kong, which would ensure a flow of medical experts.

Lo said that the governments in the two places should work to ensure the flow of four elements — people, drugs and devices, data and capital — to achieve integration of the healthcare service, with the advantage of the one country, two systems principle within the Greater Bay Area.

He suggested combining the strengths of both the mainland and Hong Kong medical systems with core quality and quantity as well as standards and efficiency.

The public health system in Hong Kong is a community-spirited public health system that provides a safety net for those in the community and provides a wide range of options for those with the financial means to opt into the private sector, Lo said.

The medical system of the mainland also has advantages in terms of volume, efficiency, and in a way, the system has more incentives for efficiency, he added.