A dozen GBA doctors to serve in understaffed Hong Kong hospitals this year

The Hospital Authority (HA) announced today that the first batch of doctors from the mainland would arrive in Hong Kong at the end of this year under the scheme of introducing talents from the Guangdong-Hong Kong Macao Greater Bay Area to cope with the increasing brain drain in Hong Kong’s public hospitals.

"We are actively negotiating with the mainland government for selecting the high-level medical talents for the GBA Healthcare Talent Visiting Programmes, and the arrangement for their visits," Fan Hongling, Chairman of the HA, confirmed in a post today.

"We have raised a list of 12 doctors who will come to Hong Kong as the advance team, all of whom come from top public hospitals in Guangdong Province," he said, "pending to serve for Hong Kong positions under the approval of authorities."

The number, 12, is higher than the amount of the first batch of doctors that HA expected, five to 10, when announcing the program in June.

According to the statistics released by the HA, Hong Kong saw about 8.3 percent of healthcare staff leave their work during this year, among which nurses saw a resignation rate of around 10.1 percent.

In dealing with the labor shortage, the HA introduced the GBA Healthcare Talent Visiting Programmes to bring in talents to serve in Hong Kong for three years. The program includes GBA Visiting Doctors Programme, GBA Chinese Medicine Visiting Scholars Programme, GBA Specialty Nursing Knowledge-exchange Programme, and GBA Visiting Radiographer (Diagnostic) Programme.

Fan added the arrangements for introducing professionals for nurses and radiographers are still ongoing and are expected to be completed within this year.

The number of the first batch of nurses coming to Hong Kong will be 70 at the beginning of next year, and the total headcount of GBA nurses is expected to reach 300 in two years.