The Chairman of the Chinese Medicine Council of Hong Kong (CMC), Dr Daniel Tse Chi-wai today (December 19) announced that 7707 eligible applicants were placed on its List of Listed Chinese Medicine Practitioners.
Only these Listed Chinese Medicine Practitioners (CMPs) will be allowed to practise Chinese medicine in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region on March 1 next (2002) year when the relevant legislation comes into effect.
Their practice could continue when the Listed CMPs become Registered CMPs or until the end of the transitional period on such date as specified by the Secretary for Health and Welfare.
Listed CMPs need to comply with the 'Code of Practice' compiled by the CMC to ensure they meet the professional conduct and practising standard. They may be subjected to disciplinary action if they fail to comply with the 'Code of Practice' and the maximum penalty is that their names may be struck off the roll.
"The CMC has already sent by registered post the 'Listed CMP Certificates' and the 'Code of Practice' to the 7 707 Listed CMPs.
"The CMC will gazette the List of Listed CMPs on Friday (December 21). The List and relevant materials will also be uploaded onto the CMC's website (http://www.cmchk.org.hk) the same day, " Dr Tse told a Press Conference.
The Chairman of the CMC's Chinese Medicine Practitioners Board, Mr Cheung Tai-chiu and the Director of Health, Dr Margaret Chan were also present at the Press Conference today.
Dr Tse said that the CMC had received a total of 8 051 applications after the four-and-a-half-month application period ended on December 30 last (2000) year. In the last 12 months, the CMC's Chinese Medicine Practitioners Board and Registration Committee had met practically on a weekly basis to vet the applications.
Dr Tse said: "To ensure that the vetting procedures are fair and open, we have invited the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) and a legal adviser to provide us with expert opinion on the vetting procedures.
"The CMC's Board and Committee consisting mainly of CMPs have taken into consideration local practising conditions during the vetting. There are also lay members and academic representatives on the Board and Committee."
Dr Tse said the registration system for CMPs had received full support from Chinese medicine practitioners' associations and representatives from various sectors of the community, and was the result of joint efforts of the whole community.
Mr Cheung Tai-chiu said that to uphold professional standard and conducts, the CMC would next assess the academic qualifications and practising experience of the Listed CMPs to determine how they could become Registered CMPs.
Mr Cheung said: "Under the transitional arrangements, listed CMPs may become Registered CMPs through direct registration, registration assessment or licensing examination during the transitional period.
"The CMC will announce the first batch of Registered CMPs through direct registration in the first half of next (2002) year. The CMC will conduct registration assessment in the second half of next year and conduct the first licensing examination in 2003.
"In the long term, only university graduates on Chinese medicine who have also passed the licensing examination, will be allowed to become Registered CMPs."
Dr Margaret Chan said: "The listing of CMPs under the registration system signifies a milestone in the development of Chinese medicine in Hong Kong.
"The registration system aims at safeguarding public health; ensuring the professional standard of CMPs; and recognising the professional status of CMPs.
"Listed CMPs will use the title 'Chinese Medicine Practitioner' and will be required to display their 'Listed CMP Certificates' in a conspicuous location in their clinics. When approved, Registered CMPs will use the title 'Registered Chinese Medicine Practitioner'."
Persons who are not Listed or Registered CMPs would be prohibited from practising Chinese medicine from March 1 next year. Any person who contravenes the Chinese Medicine Ordinance and illegally practises Chinese medicine would be prosecuted and the maximum penalty is five years' imprisonment. If it involves causing bodily harm, the maximum penalty is seven years' imprisonment.
Established in September 1999 under the Chinese Medicine Ordinance, the CMC is an independent statutory body responsible for devising the regulatory standards and for implementing regulatory measures on the practice, use, manufacture and trading of Chinese medicine.
Two Boards are established under the CMC. The Chinese Medicine Practitioners Board is responsible for regulating the practice of Chinese medicine and the Chinese Medicines Board is responsible for controlling the use, manufacture and trading of Chinese medicines.
For general information, members of the public may call the hotline(Tel: 2574 9999).
End/Wednesday, December 19, 2001