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Statistics

2009 Health Manpower Survey

Summary of the Characteristics of Doctors Enumerated


I.   Doctors with Full Registration Covered

1.1   The doctors covered in the 2009 HMS were doctors fully registered* with the Medical Council of Hong Kong on the resident list† as at the survey reference date - 31.8.2009.

1.2   The number of doctors with full registration covered was 11 495.

1.3   Of the 11 495 doctors covered, 8 018 had responded to the survey, giving an overall response rate of 69.8%. Among the respondents, 6 925 were economically active‡§ (active) in the local medical profession as at 31.8.2009 and 1 093 reported to be economically inactive‡║ (inactive) in the local medical profession (Chart A).

*  Refer to doctors registered in Part I of the Medical Register maintained by the Medical Council of Hong Kong under the Medical Registration Ordinance (Chapter 161). These include doctors who hold the qualification of Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery issued in Hong Kong (MBBS (HK) / MBChB (CUHK)), Licentiate of Medical Council of Hong Kong (LMCHK) or other overseas qualifications registered with the Medical Council of Hong Kong.

†  As the 2009 Health Manpower Survey only aimed at covering doctors practising in Hong Kong, doctors on the non-resident list of the Medical Register were excluded from the survey.

‡ In the survey, the criteria used in defining economically active / inactive followed those recommended by the International Labour Organization, which are also being used by the Census and Statistics Department in Hong Kong.

§ “Economically active” doctors comprised all “employed” and “unemployed” doctors. “Employed” doctors referred to those doctors practising in the medical profession in Hong Kong during the survey period, while “unemployed” doctors referred to those doctors who (a) were not practising in the local medical profession during the survey period; (b) had been available for work during the seven days before the survey; and (c) had sought work in the medical profession during the 30 days before the survey.

║ “Economically inactive” doctors comprised the doctors who were not practising in the medical profession in Hong Kong during the survey period, excluding those who had been on leave during the survey period and who were “economically active” but “unemployed”.

Chart A : Activity Status of Doctors Covered

Text Version

Of the 11 495 doctors covered, 8 018 (69.8%) had responded to the survey, while the remaining 3 477 (30.2%) had not responded.  Among the respondents, 6 925 (86.4%) were active in the local medical profession whereas 1 093 (13.6%) reported to be inactive in the local medical profession.
  
Among the 6 925 active doctors, 6 900 (99.6%) were practising in the local medical profession, 14 (0.2%) (a) were not practising in the medical profession in Hong Kong during the survey period; (b) had been available for work during the seven days before the survey and (c) had sought work in the medical profession during the 30 days before the survey and the remaining 11 (0.2%) (a) were not practising in the medical profession in Hong Kong during the survey period; (b) had been available for work during the seven days before the survey and (c) were believing no work available, expected to return to their original jobs or waiting to take up new job in the local medical profession during the 30 days before the survey. 

Of the 1 093 inactive doctors, 550 (50.3%) reported practising overseas, 23 (2.1%) reported practising in the Mainland and 520 (47.6%) reported not practising in the medical profession in Hong Kong and not seeking job in the local medical profession during the 30 days before the survey. 

Of these 520 inactive doctors, 397 (76.3%) reported retired, 43 (8.3%) wanted to take rest / having no motive to work / having no financial need, 35 (6.7%) reported working in other professions, 27 (5.2%) were engaged in household duties, 9 (1.7%) reported emigrated and the remaining 9 (1.7%) were undertaking study.

Percentage may not add up to 100% due to rounding.

Note: * Figure refers to the number of responding doctors who (a) were not practising in the medical profession in Hong Kong during the survey period; (b) had been available for work during the seven days before the survey and (c) had sought work in the medical profession during the 30 days before the survey.
  Figure refers to the number of responding doctors who (a) were not practising in the medical profession in Hong Kong during the survey period; (b) had been available for work during the seven days before the survey and (c) were believing no work available, expected to return to their original jobs or waiting to take up new job in the local medical profession during the 30 days before the survey.
    Percentage may not add up to 100% due to rounding.

1.4   Of the 6 925 active doctors, 14 were seeking jobs and 11 were believing no work available, expected to return to their original jobs or waiting to take up new job in the local medical profession during the 30 days before the survey. The survey results presented in paragraph 1.6 below were based on the 6 900 responding doctors who were practising in the local medical profession as at 31.8.2009. As certain questionnaires contained missing information, percentages presented below may not add up to 100%.

1.5   Of the 1 093 inactive doctors, 550 reported practising overseas, 23 reported practising in the Mainland and 520 reported not seeking job in the local medical profession during the 30 days before the survey (Chart A). Among the 520 inactive doctors who reported not seeking job, the main reasons reported for not seeking jobs included: 397 (76.3%) were retired, 43 (8.3%) wanted to take rest / having no motive to work / having no financial need, 35 (6.7%) were working in other professions, 27 (5.2%) were engaged in household duties, 9 (1.7%) emigrated and 9 (1.7%) were undertaking studies.

1.6   138 doctors did not indicate their sex. Of the remaining 6 762 active doctors enumerated who were practising in the local medical profession, 4 844 (71.6%) were male and 1 918 (28.4%) were female, giving an overall sex ratio (males per 100 females) of 253. Apart from 116 doctors who did not indicate their age, the median age of the remaining 6 784 active doctors enumerated was 45.0 years. The median age of the active female doctors enumerated was 37.0 years and that of their male counterparts was 48.0 years.

1.7   The responding active doctors were requested to indicate the characteristics of their main jobs*. Distribution by sector for the main job showed that the largest proportion (49.1%) of active doctors enumerated were working in the private sector, followed by those working in the Hospital Authority (42.2%), the Government (5.0%), the academic sector (2.7%) and the subvented sector (0.4%).

1.8   The median age of the doctors enumerated was 54.0 years for those working in the private sector, followed by 46.5 years for those working in the academic sector, 40.0 years in the Government, 39.0 years in the subvented sector and 36.0 years in the Hospital Authority.

1.9   Of the 6 900 active doctors enumerated, 63.3% spent most of their working time on specialist practice, followed by 33.2% on general practice, 2.3% on administration / management and 0.4% on teaching / education.

1.10  The median number of hours of work (excluding meal breaks) per week of the 6 900 active doctors enumerated was 48.0 hours. Among them, 3 702 (53.7%) were not required to undertake on-call duty (excluding normal duty) and 3 146 (45.6%) were required to undertake on-call duty, with a median of 20.0 hours on-call duty (excluding normal duty) per week.

1.11  Regarding the average number of consultations / patients encountered per working day, 42.4% of the active doctors enumerated reported to have a range of 20 to 50 consultations / patients, 31.6% reported to have less than 20 consultations / patients and 15.4% reported to have more than 50 consultations / patients per working day.

*  Main jobs referred to the jobs in which the doctors had spent most of their working time.

1.12 Of the 6 900 active doctors enumerated, most were locally trained for Bachelor’s degree (75.0%), while 14.1% held Bachelor’s degree issued by overseas institutions. Another 9.2% held Licentiate of Medical Council of Hong Kong (LMCHK) as their basic qualifications.

1.13 Of the 6 900 active doctors enumerated, 5 520 (80.0%) had obtained additional post-graduate qualification(s)*. Among them, 3 826 (69.3%) had obtained Fellowship Examination, 35.2% Diploma and 25.2% Membership / Intermediate Examination as additional post-graduate qualification(s).

1.14 Of the 6 900 active doctors enumerated, 4 953 (71.8%) received / were receiving specialized training, 1 893 (27.4%) did not receive any specialized training and 54 (0.8%) did not reveal whether they received / were receiving specialized training or not. Of the 4 953 doctors who received / were receiving specialized training, 4 776 (96.4%) were trained in one field of the specialized training. Among them, 22.0% were trained / being trained in medicine, 13.3% in surgery, 9.6% in paediatrics, 8.6% in family medicine, 7.8% in obstetrics & gynaecology and 6.2% in anaesthesiology (Chart B).

*  Refers to the quotable additional qualification which is acceptable to the Medical Council of Hong Kong.
 

Chart B : Number of Field of Specialty of Specialized Training Received / Being Received by Active Doctors Enumerated

Text Version

Of the 6 900 active doctors enumerated, 69.2% had received or were receiving one type of specialized training, 
1.4% had received or were receiving two to four types of specialized training, 
1.1% did not reveal the types of their specialized training, 
27.4% did not receive any specialized training, 
and 0.8% did not reveal whether they had received any specialized training or not. 
 
Among those doctors who were involved with one specialty of specialized training, 
22.0% were trained / being trained in medicine, followed by 13.3% in surgery, 
9.6% in paediatrics, 
8.6% in family medicine, 
7.8% in obstetrics & gynaecology,  
6.2% in anaesthesiology, 
5.4% in radiology, 
5.3% in orthopaedics & traumatology, 
5.1% in emergency medicine,
5.0% in psychiatry,
3.9% in ophthalmology, 
3.2% in pathology, 
2.5% in community medicine, 
and 2.2% in otorhinolaryngology.

Total number of active doctors enumerated =6 900

 

1.15  Regarding Continuing Medical Education (CME) training, 6 247 (90.5%) of the active doctors revealed that they had participated in CME training in 2009, 569 (8.2%) did not participate in any CME training and 84 (1.2%) did not reveal whether they had participated in CME training or not. Among the 6 247 active doctors enumerated who had participated in CME training, the distribution of CME points attained in the past 12 months was: 1 to 10 points (6.5%), 11 to 20 points (8.5%), 21 to 30 points (19.3%) and 31 points or above (65.7%). 

 

II.    Trend Analysis

2.1   Comparison of findings of the 2009 HMS with those surveys before 2003 should be cautious as the survey coverage, methodology and survey reference date had been changed (Chart C).

2.2   The number of doctors with full registration increased from 3 487 in 1982 to 11 495 in 2009.

 

Chart C: Number of Doctors with Full Registration Covered by Year (1982, 1984, 1987, 1990, 1992, 1996, 2000, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2009)

Text Version

In the 1982 Health Manpower Survey, the number of doctors with 

full registration covered was 3 487.



In the 1984 Health Manpower Survey, the number of doctors with 

full registration covered was 4 016.



In the 1987 Health Manpower Survey, the number of doctors with 

full registration covered was 4 829.



In the 1990 Health Manpower Survey, the number of doctors with 

full registration covered was 5 643.



In the 1992 Health Manpower Survey, the number of doctors with 

full registration covered was 6 397.



In the 1996 Health Manpower Survey, the number of doctors with 

full registration covered was 7 567.



In the 2000 Health Manpower Survey, the number of doctors with 

full registration covered was 8 773.



In the 2003 Health Manpower Survey, the number of doctors with 

full registration covered was 9 905.



In the 2004 Health Manpower Survey, the number of doctors with 

full registration covered was 10 157.



In the 2005 Health Manpower Survey, the number of doctors with 

full registration covered was 10 427.



In the 2006 Health Manpower Survey, the number of doctors with 

full registration covered was 10 695.



In the 2007 Health Manpower Survey, the number of doctors with 

full registration covered was 10 951.



In the 2009 Health Manpower Survey, the number of doctors with 

full registration covered was 11 495.


Note:

Figures of 2000 and before refer to the number of doctors fully registered with the Medical Council of Hong Kong on the resident list  as at the 1st of July of the respective years, whereas the figure of 2003 refers to that as at the 31st of December 2003 and the figures of 2004 to 2007 and 2009 refer to that as at the 31st of August of the respective years.

Note: Figures of 2000 and before refer to the number of doctors fully registered with the Medical Council of Hong Kong on the resident list  as at the 1st of July of the respective years, whereas the figure of 2003 refers to that as at the 31st of December 2003 and the figures of 2004 to 2007 and 2009 refer to that as at the 31st of August of the respective years.

 

2.3   There was an increasing proportion of female doctors. The overall sex ratio (males per 100 females) showed a decrease from 520 in 1982 to 253 in 2009 (Table A).

2.4   From 1982 to 1990, the private sector was the largest employer of active doctors enumerated. Together with the Government, both sectors employed about 80% of the doctors in total. The Hospital Authority had been the largest employer since its setup in 1991, and the proportion of active doctor employed in the Government decreased to 5.0% in 2009. The proportion of active doctor employed in the private sector was in the range between 38.2% in 1996 and 49.1% in 2009.

 

Table A : Selected Characteristics of Active Doctors Enumerated (1982, 1984, 1987, 1990, 1992, 1996, 2000, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2009)

Text Version

Characteristics

Year

1982

1984

1987

1990

1992

1996

2000

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

2009

A.   Doctors with Full Registration Covered*

3 487

4 016

4 829

5 643

6 397

7 567

8 773

9 905

10 157

10 427

10 695

10 951

11 495

B.    Active Doctors Enumerated

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Number Enumerated

3 487

3 490

4 044

4 545

5 094

5 416

5 679

4 941

4 388

5 498

5 358

5 444

6 900

Sex

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Male

2 841

2 912

3 311

3 686

4 102

4 240

4 409

3 696

3 249

4 037

3 880

3 903

4 844

Female

546

578

733

859

992

1 176

1 270

1 234

1 139

1 458

1 474

1 541

1 918

Unknown

100

N.A.

N.A.

N.A.

N.A.

N.A.

N.A.

11

N.A.

3

4

N.A.

138

Sex Ratio (males per 100 females)

520

504

452

429

414

361

347

300

285

277

263

253

253

Mean Age

-

-

-

-

-

41.2

42.6

43.3

43.7

43.9

44.3

44.8

46.5

Sector of Work

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Medical field

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Government

1 024

1 263

1 443

1 759

 413

 496

 593

 327

273

302

303

288

348

 

(29.4%)

(36.2%)

(35.7%)

(38.7%)

(8.1%)

(9.2%)

(10.4%)

(6.6%)

(6.2%)

(5.5%)

(5.7%)

(5.3%)

(5.0%)

Hospital Authority

N.A.

N.A.

N.A.

N.A.

2 241

2 576

2 558

2 335

2 025

2 569

2 449

2 482

2 911

 

 

 

 

 

(44.0%)

(47.6%)

(45.0%)

(47.3%)

(46.1%)

(46.7%)

(45.7%)

(45.6%)

(42.2%)

Private

1 474

1 569

1 789

1 989

2 198

2 069

2 293

1 933

1 921

2 417

2 395

2 490

3 388

 

(42.3%)

(45.0%)

(44.2%)

(43.8%)

(43.1%)

(38.2%)

(40.4%)

(39.1%)

(43.8%)

(44.0%)

(44.7%)

(45.7%)

(49.1%)

Academic & Subvented

531

 658

 812

 797

 242

 275

 235

 167

151

192

186

181

219

 

(15.2%)

(18.9%)

(20.1%)

(17.5%)

(4.8%)

(5.1%)

(4.1%)

(3.4%)

(3.4%)

(3.5%)

(3.5%)

(3.3%)

(3.2%)

 

Non-medical field

170

N.A.

N.A.

N.A.

N.A.

N.A.

N.A.

N.A.

N.A.

N.A

N.A

N.A.

N.A.

 

(4.9%)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unknown

288

N.A.

N.A.

N.A.

N.A.

N.A.

N.A.

179

18

18

25

3

34

 

(8.3%)

 

 

 

 

 

 

(3.6%)

(0.4%)

(0.3%)

(0.5%)

(0.1%)

(0.5%)

 

Notes : *  Figures of 2000 and before refer to the number of doctors fully registered with the Medical Council of Hong Kong on the resident list  as at the 1st of July of the respective years, whereas the figure of 2003 refers to that as at the 31st of December 2003 and the figures of 2004 to 2007 and 2009 refer to that as at the 31st of August of the respective years.
†  In 2003 to 2007 and 2009, the sector refers to the sector of the main job.
‡  Military was included in the 1984, 1987, 1992 and 1996 HMS.
There may be slight discrepancy between the sum of individual items and the total due to rounding.
N.A. Not applicable

‘-’   Not available

Department of Health
The Government of the Hong Kong
Special Administrative Region
January 2011

  Last Revision Date : 20 Jan 2011