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1.8% inflation in October

Overall consumer prices rose 1.8% in October year-on-year, smaller than the 4.4% increase in September, the Census & Statistics Department announced today.   Netting out the effects of the Government's one-off relief measures, the underlying inflation rate was 1.7%, slightly less than September's 1.8%.   Compared with October last year, price increases were recorded for electricity, gas and water; clothing and footwear; meals out and takeaway food; basic food; alcoholic drinks and tobacco; transport; miscellaneous services, miscellaneous goods and housing.   On the other hand, a year-on-year decrease in price was recorded for durable goods.    The Government said that underlying consumer price inflation remained moderate in October.   The year-on-year increase in food prices showed some moderation, though remained relatively fast. Prices of clothing and footwear continued to record a visible increase, while those of energy-related items rose sharply. Price pressur

Doctor registration bill backed

The Medical Registration (Amendment) Bill 2021 can help increase and stabilise the supply of medical talents for Hong Kong, the Hospital Authority said today.   In response to a recent online commentary, the authority said in a statement that it welcomed the Government’s announcement on submitting the bill to the Legislative Council on June 2 to introduce a new pathway for non-locally trained Hong Kong doctors to return and serve in the city.   The bill stipulates that doctors applying for special registration must be Hong Kong permanent residents.   The authority noted that it will continue to collaborate with the Academy of Medicine to facilitate non-locally trained doctors to receive specialist training while working in Hong Kong, assess their job performance for the five years following the attainment of their specialist qualification and acknowledge their competence as doctors before they can apply for full registration.   The commentary stating that the bill's purpose is to introduce mainland doctors is purely speculative, arouses undue conflicts and misleads the public, the authority said, adding that the Government is imposing a higher requirement for non-locally-trained doctors in comparison with locally trained doctors who can obtain full registration after completing a one-year internship.   The authority stressed that the purpose of the bill is to attract non-locally trained doctors, who are Hong Kong permanent residents, to return to Hong Kong and serve for a specific period of time in the public healthcare sector.   By serving in the public healthcare sector for an extended period of time, the non-locally trained doctors will definitely help relieve frontline doctors’ workload, it added.   Although the two local universities have progressively increased the intake of medical students, while the authority has recruited all suitable local medical graduates, supply still falls short of the city’s demand due to an ageing population and rising service needs.   The authority noted it was concerned about the manpower situation of doctors in public hospitals and has implemented various human resources measures to increase and retain manpower, meet service demand and alleviate frontline doctors’ workload.   It also trusted that the Government’s proposed plan could increase and stabilise the supply of medical talents and hoped the profession could be more liberal in the discussion.
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