Fudan University has become the first medical school in mainland China to have its qualifications recognised in Hong Kong, as part of the government’s initiative to plug a severe shortage of medics in the public healthcare system with non-locally trained doctors.

Photo: Fudan University

On Wednesday, the government announced the second batch of recognised medical qualifications, meaning that doctors from an additional 23 non-local institutions will be able to practise in Hong Kong public hospitals. The recognition will take effect on Friday and be reviewed by the legislature next week.

Five of the newly accepted medical programmes are from Australia, two from Canada, seven from Britain, seven from the US, and one from South Africa – as well as Fudan University.

The new batch brought the number of recognised non-local medical programmes to 50. The first batch, involving 27 universities, was announced in April.

“The announcement of the recognised medical qualifications in batches by the SRC enables qualified non-locally trained doctors to come to serve in the public healthcare institutions in Hong Kong through special registration as soon as possible,” Secretary for Food and Health Sophia Chan said in a statement.

Public hospital doctors. File Photo: Supplied.

The Medical Registration Ordinance was revised last October to allow non-locally trained doctors with recognised medical qualifications to work in the Hospital Authority, the Department of Heath and other entities in Hong Kong’s public healthcare sector, in a bid to relieve the shortage of doctors in public hospitals.

Only two schools in Hong Kong offer medical programmes, namely the University of Hong Kong (HKU) and the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), both of which are highly competitive.

Faculty of Medicine of the University of Hong Kong. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

In recent years, HKU has offered places to around 130 to 150 students through the city’s university admissions system. CUHK took in a similar number of applicants.

HKFP has reached out to medical and health services sector lawmaker David Lam for comment.

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Almond Li

Almond Li is a Hong Kong-based journalist who previously worked for Reuters and Happs TV as a freelancer, and as a reporter at Hong Kong International Business Channel, Citizen News and Commercial Radio Hong Kong. She earned her Masters in Journalism at the University of Southern California. She has an interest in LGBT+, mental health and environmental issues.