Public hospitals experience 6.1% decline in doctors following over 1,000 resignations in 3 years

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16th April 2024 – (Hong Kong) The Health Bureau disclosed on Tuesday that the healthcare sector faced a considerable attrition rate in the year 2023/2024, with a 6.1 per cent reduction in full-time doctors and a more alarming 9.5 per cent decrease in full-time nurses. This trend marks a troubling development in public health institutions.

Over the last three years, public hospitals have witnessed the departure of 1,032 full-time doctors, primarily for reasons other than retirement. The Kowloon Central Cluster was notably the hardest hit, losing 204 doctors, which represents a fifth of the overall departures.

The situation with full-time nursing staff is even more dire, with 6,049 nurses having resigned for non-retirement related reasons. The Kowloon cluster again faced the largest impact, with 1,346 nurses leaving their positions, accounting for 22 per cent of the total nursing staff loss.

Despite these challenges, recruitment efforts seem to be partially mitigating the impact. Between April and December 2023, public hospitals successfully hired 630 doctors, exceeding the number of those who left, which stood at 281 during the same period. This data suggests a proactive response from the healthcare sector to address the ongoing staff shortages and maintain the necessary levels of medical care.