Mainland nurses to be nurtured in HK
By Louise Ho (HK Edition)
Updated: 2007-06-21 06:54

A new plan to train mainland nurses in Hong Kong would improve the mainland's medical standard and enhance exchanges between Hong Kong and Guangdong, said York Chow, Secretary for Health, Welfare and Food yesterday.

In May, the Health, Welfare and Food Bureau struck a deal with Guangdong's health department, according to which the Hospital Authority (HA) would provide professional training for nurses from Guangdong in Hong Kong's public hospitals, he said in Legislative Council meeting yesterday.

Under the deal, the first batch of 120 trainees would be trained for 10 months starting from late June, Chow said. HK$4.8 million has been allocated for the plan.

He said the objectives are "to provide professional training and internship opportunities for mainland nurses and increase nursing standard on the mainland".

"The plan can also provide a platform for exchanges in medical services between the mainland and Hong Kong, such as exchanges on medical skills and systems."

At the meeting some legislators inquired about whether the HK$4.8 million would be at the expense of training of local nurses and whether mainland nurses' training would affect the quality of medical service in Hong Kong.

The HA has a whole set of strategy on development of local nurses. HK$4.8 million was a small amount out of the HK$2.8 billion government funding for the HA, Chow explained.

The mainland nurses would not compete with local nurses, he stressed. They would not obtain Hong Kong's practicing certificates in nursing and would return to Guangdong after training.

He was confident that their training would have no effect on the nursing standard in Hong Kong as they would provide supervised clinical care, he said.

The mainland nurses would be trained in eight public hospitals such as Queen Mary and Prince of Wales, in departments of intensive care unit, orthopedics and surgery, he said.

Each trainee would pay HK$10,000 as course fee, which will be used for development of Hong Kong nurses.

HK$5,000 will be given to each nurse as living cost in Hong Kong.

The plan would include clinical work under supervision and classes of several hours per week.

Course arrangement and development details would be reviewed each year.

The trainees were selected on the basis of their potential and professional qualification in nursing, Chow said.

(HK Edition 06/21/2007 page6)