The Chairman of the Chinese Medicine Council of Hong Kong (CMC), Dr Daniel Tse Chi-wai, said today (September 5) that assessment of qualifications of listed Chinese Medicine Practitioners (CMPs) for registration is now completed and that the first batch of CMPs who are eligible for application for direct registration has been confirmed.
Under the transitional arrangements for registration of CMPs in the Chinese Medicine Ordinance, CMPs who were practising in Hong Kong on and before 3 January 2000 could apply to become listed CMPs. In the light of their practising experience and academic qualifications, they could apply for registration as a registered CMP through three different channels, i.e. direct registration, registration assessment and licensing examination.
Announcing the assessment results on the qualifications of listed CMPs for registration, Dr Tse said a total of 2 543 listed CMPs were eligible for direct registration, while 2 515 CMPs shall undertake the registration assessment and 2 619 shall sit for the licensing examination.
"Starting from tomorrow, the CMC will inform the listed CMPs who are eligible for direct registration by double registered mail. Formal registration procedures will be proceeded immediately upon receipt of their applications. Applicants will be granted official registration if they comply with the moral and conduct requirements of the Chinese Medicine Ordinance."
"From tomorrow, the CMC will also inform individual listed CMPs who are not eligible for direct registration, of the relevant arrangements for registration assessment and licensing examination."
Both Mr Cheung Tai-chiu, Chairman of the Chinese Medicine Practitioners Board of the CMC, and Dr Margaret Chan, Director of Health, were at the press conference.
Mr Cheung said that the registration assessment was scheduled to be held in December 2002 and that the CMC was at the moment organizing the licensing examinations, the first of which was expected to be held in mid 2003.
He said other persons who wish to become registered CMPs may also sit for the licensing examination if they possess an undergraduate degree in Chinese Medicine recognized by the Board. They can apply for registration as a registered CMP after they pass the examination.
He said that the Board had conducted an assessment of the undergraduate degree courses in Chinese Medicine offered by three local universities, namely the University of Hong Kong, the Chinese University of Hong Kong and Hong Kong Baptist University. Their full-time degree courses in Chinese medicine have been accepted by the Board to be the recognized courses for undertaking the licensing examination. Further, students who have enrolled in part-time degree courses in Chinese Medicine offered by these three universities in or before 2002 and completed such courses satisfactorily may also undertake the licensing examination.
Besides registered CMPs, the Practitioners Board will consider applications for limited registration for CMPs outside the territory submitted by five local universities, namely, the University of Hong Kong, the Chinese University of Hong Kong, the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong Baptist University and the City University of Hong Kong. CMPs with limited registration can only perform clinical teaching or research in Chinese medicine in the institutions that employ them. They cannot carry out any private practice of Chinese medicine.
Mr Cheung said that to maintain their professional standards and conduct, registered CMPs should meet the requirements of continuing study specified by the Board and comply with the "Code of Practice for Registered Chinese Medicine Practitioners".
Dr Chan stressed that apart from registered CMPs who can practise Chinese medicine lawfully, listed CMPs may also continue to practise Chinese medicine, but they may apply for registration as a registered CMP only after they have passed the registration assessment or licensing examination.
Registered CMPs may use the title "Registered Chinese Medicine Practitioner" in their practices and shall post up their "Practising Certificate" at conspicuous locations in their practising premises, while listed CMPs shall display the "Written Notification of Listed Chinese Medicine Practitioner".
To increase public awareness of the relevant regulatory system, the Department of Health has published a series of promotional leaflets for distribution at District Offices of the Home Affairs Department. The department is also holding roving exhibitions from time to time.
Turning to the regulation of Chinese medicines, Dr CHAN said that the CMC was drafting three sets of subsidiary legislations, including detailed regulatory arrangements, disciplinary procedures of Chinese medicine traders and categories and levels of fees. These legislations are expected to be submitted to the Legislative Council within this Legco year. Upon enactment of the subsidiary legislations, the licensing system for Chinese medicine traders will be implemented in the first half of next year, followed by the registration of proprietary Chinese medicines.
For enquiries about the regulation of Chinese medicine, members of the public may call the hotline 2574 9999.
End/Thursday, September 5, 2002