Medical staff measures welcomed

The Food & Health Bureau today welcomed the Hospital Authority's staff retention measures and noted it will continue its multipronged strategy to ease the shortage of healthcare professionals in the public healthcare system.   The bureau said the new measure to create the rank of Associate Nurse Consultant in the nursing grade career structure can provide an alternative promotion pathway for nurses aspiring to develop a career in specialty nursing, apart from the existing clinical management stream.   The new grade structure will also facilitate continuous development in the nursing profession and promote the standard of nursing services, the bureau said, adding that the Nursing Council of Hong Kong was invited in January to introduce the Voluntary Scheme on Advanced & Specialised Nursing Practice.   The voluntary scheme and the authority's new measure may complement each other to lay a good foundation and pave the way for nursing specialisation. The bureau encouraged qualified staff in the authority's nursing grade to submit applications.   The Government earlier rolled out initiatives to strengthen public healthcare services, including promoting public-private partnerships to relieve pressure on the public healthcare sector by making use of the private sector's capacity.   The initiatives also cover enhancing the working environment and efficiency of healthcare professionals through a hardware upgrade under the two 10-Year Hospital Development Plans and development of smart hospitals.   The Government has also steered primary healthcare and strengthening co-ordination among various professions, sectors and organisations in the primary healthcare field to ease pressure on public hospitals.   Such initiatives will continue to be implemented, the bureau added.   Moreover, the Medical Registration (Amendment) Bill 2021 has been introduced to the Legislative Council to create a new pathway to allow non-locally trained doctors to practise in Hong Kong, it said.
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