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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

Medical registration bill clarified

The Medical Registration (Amendment) Bill 2021 does not intend to pave the way for the introduction of Mainland doctors, the Government clarified today.   The Government made the statement in response to a recent unfounded online commentary on the bill.   It reiterated that those who wish to become a doctor with special registration must be a Hong Kong permanent resident. The bill aims to attract Hong Kong permanent residents who are doctors in any place outside Hong Kong to return to the city and serve in the public healthcare sector.   The amendment is not intended to abolish the current licensing examination system but to create a new pathway for qualified non-locally trained doctors to practise in the public healthcare sector of Hong Kong on the premise of ensuring the quality of doctors, the Government said.   It pointed out that doctors with special registration are subject to multiple supervisions to ensure quality, while locally trained doctors can obtain full registration after completing the internship. The Government is actually imposing a higher requirement on non-locally trained doctors.   It also noted that the current registration system is ineffective, causing the proportion of non-locally trained doctors to drop significantly to an average of 13% for the five years between 2015 and 2019.    Additionally, the bill does not bypass the Medical Council and non-locally trained doctors will still need to register under the council and be subject to its disciplinary regulation like local doctors, it said.   The Government plans to submit the bill to the Legislative Council on June 2.
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