Legislative Council Panel on Health Services 8 March 1999

The Administration's position on
the request of the Hong Kong China Medicine Association


This paper sets out the Administration's position on the request of the Hong Kong China Medicine Association.

The Administration's position

2. The professional standard of medical practitioners is a very important element of our health care services. The Government's basic policy in this respect is to ensure that only persons with sufficient professional knowledge and skills in medicine are qualified to be registered as medical practitioners in Hong Kong and are allowed to provide medical services to the public. The existing registration system is stipulated by law. Under this system, the Medical Council of Hong Kong is responsible for setting the standard for practising medicine and assessing whether individual applicants for registration have achieved this standard. The Council closely monitors the standard of the local medical schools and conducts a Licensing Examination for all non-local medical graduates.

The Licensing Examination

3. The Medical Council of Hong Kong conducts the Licensing Examination on a regular basis. Non-local medical graduates who wish to practise medicine in Hong Kong may demonstrate their professional competence through this Examination. There is no passing quota, and the standard required to pass this Examination is set at a level comparable to that required of the local medical graduates. To maintain the standard of practice of medical practitioners and hence to protect the health of the public, it would not be advisable to grant exemptions from the Licensing Examination in response to the demands of individual organizations.

Local Medical Graduates

4. In 1995, Hong Kong passed a piece of legislation to remove the practice of allowing graduates from certain recognized UK and Commonwealth medical schools to register as medical practitioners in Hong Kong without the need to attend and pass the Licensing Examination. The Medical Registration (Transitional Provisions) Ordinance 1997 provides a transitional arrangement for these Hong Kong students who were then (i.e. mid-1996) studying in or who had been enrolled by these medical schools. As provided by the Ordinance, they are allowed to be registered as medical practitioners without taking the Licensing Examination after their graduation. This transitional arrangement applies only to Hong Kong students, not all graduates from these schools.


5. The Government considers that the current registration system is effective in meeting its objectives of maintaining the standard of medical practice and protecting the health of the public. It is a fair and open system.

Health and Welfare Bureau
March 1999