Dozens of doctors and medical students in the UK have been briefed about how they can come to practise medicine back in Hong Kong, as part of a wider recruitment drive by top Hospital Authority (HA) officials.
The event in London, held on Saturday by the Hong Kong Medical Society of the United Kingdom, attracted about 100 in-person participants, with others taking part online.
There was interest from both medical students and young doctors – some of whom were working as foundation doctors in the UK.
Vivian Pak left her family behind in Hong Kong to pursue her studies in England, but is now planning on returning home after finishing the first year of her foundation training programme.
Her decision isn’t just about reuniting with her family, but also because she thinks she would get more opportunities to work with patients directly.
“I think 80 percent of my workload as as a [foundation year one] doctor is admin-related: talking to various people, talking to specialists, organising blood tests and arranging patients’ discharge,” she said.
“I certainly think it would be easier to focus more on thinking about the medical side of things rather than logistics and administration.”
Siah – a doctor from Malaysia whose brother is already working in Hong Kong -- told RTHK he’s also interested in working in the SAR, with the higher pay and lower taxes among the key attractions.
He’s also looking forward to less admin work, but he’s a bit apprehensive about the heavy workload doctors face in Hong Kong.
“In terms of the working environment I’m not too sure because I haven’t been there yet, but listening [to the talk], a lot just sounds like [they’re] warning us about the workload and that’s kind of scaring me a bit as well because I thought that here was bad enough but there’s somewhere else that is worse than this, so I’d probably just think about it when I get there, hopefully,” he said.
But a medical student, surnamed Lau, believed the working environment at hospitals in the UK and in Hong Kong were really not that different.
"I've worked at hospitals of a larger scale, as well as in rural areas," he said. "While there were no fallen ceilings, there were also a lot of shortcomings."
The HA is to hold a recruitment day on Sunday for medical students, interns, trainees and specialists, and job offers for eligible participants will be arranged either on-site or online.
Meanwhile Hospital Authority Chief Executive Tony Ko said medical students won't have to spend extra time for internships when they come to Hong Kong, saying there should be no problems for them to get accustomed to working here.
"The special registration system now allows the authority to directly hire qualified doctors from overseas to practise in Hong Kong, without them needing to pass or complete extra exams and internships," he said at the event.
Ko is expected to visit three top medical schools in the UK to gauge student interest.
Last updated: 2023-04-02 HKT 10.30