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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 pathway mooted

(To watch the full press conference with sign language interpretation, click here.)   The Government will introduce the Medical Registration (Amendment) Bill 2021 into the Legislative Council to create a new pathway for admission of qualified non-locally trained doctors to practise in Hong Kong.   Secretary for Food &Health Prof Sophia Chan told at a press conference this afternoon there is a severe shortage of doctors in Hong Kong.   According to the Healthcare Manpower Projection 2020 conducted by the Food & Health Bureau, the projected shortfall of doctors will reach 1,610 in 2030 and 1,949 in 2040.   Prof Chan said the Government sees an imminent case to create a new pathway for qualified non-locally trained doctors to obtain full registration in Hong Kong as an alternative to the current pathway of passing the Licensing Examination.   She pointed out that a non-locally trained doctor has to be a Hong Kong permanent resident and fulfil certain criteria.   “The assessment at work is only one of the assessments to determine the competence and also the standard of the candidate.     “As I reiterated earlier, the candidate would have to first, get his or her medical degree from a medical school in the list that is accredited.   “Second, he or she would have to get medical registration in the place where (the medical school they studied is located).   “And third, they would have to get a job from the employer, that is the public healthcare sector - the Hospital Authority, Department of Health, or the two universities’ (the University of Hong Kong and the Chinese University of Hong Kong) medical schools, and obviously there are on-the-job assessments.”   For the purpose of determining the list of recognised medical qualifications awarded by non-local medical schools, the bill also stipulates that a statutory Special Registration Committee be established.   The committee will determine the list of recognised medical qualifications taking into account the medium of instruction and the curriculum of the medical programmes concerned, international rankings of the non-local medical schools and any other aspects deemed appropriate, Prof Chan added.   The bill will be gazetted on May 21 and will then be introduced into LegCo on June 2.
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