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More HZMB private car quotas set

The governments of Hong Kong and Macau have agreed to increase the regular quotas for Hong Kong cross-boundary non-commercial private cars using the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge to Macau, the Transport Department announced today.   The decision was made to enhance traffic flow between Hong Kong and Macau, better utilising the bridge, the department said.   It will increase the Hong Kong quota by 1,000, following the earlier quota allocation of 1,800 for Hong Kong.   The additional quota will be distributed in two phases from the second quarter.   Half of the additional 1,000 quota allocations is for company applicants and the other half is for individual applicants. The quotas are valid for no more than three years. The eligibility criteria of quota applications remains the same.   Private cars allocated with Hong Kong quotas will be permitted to access the city of Macau multiple times using the bridge.   The Hong Kong quota allotments will be re-allocated upon expiry thro

Healthcare initiatives explained

Secretary for Food & Health Prof Sophia Chan today briefed the representatives of the Hong Kong Academy of Nursing on the initiatives related to manpower and professional development of the healthcare sector in the 2021 Policy Address.   While noting that the healthcare system in Hong Kong is renowned for its quality and reliability, Prof Chan pointed out the challenges it faces, including the COVID-19 epidemic raging across the globe, an ageing population, the increasing number of diseases triggered by lifestyle choices and ever-rising public expectations towards healthcare services.   As stated by the Chief Executive in her Policy Address, sufficient healthcare manpower is a must to cope with these challenges, she said.   “The Government has been adopting a multi-pronged approach to enhance healthcare manpower, including increasing continuously the local healthcare training places offered by the University Grants Committee-funded universities and self-financing institutions and admitting non-locally trained healthcare professionals, with a view to supporting the development of various healthcare services.”   Prof Chan also said the roles of other healthcare professionals in the local healthcare system need to be strengthened, in particular in primary healthcare services.   She said the Food & Health Bureau will follow up at full speed on the legislation work to make continuing professional education and continuing professional development a mandatory requirement for supplementary medical professionals as well as for nurses and dentists as proposed in the Policy Address, with a view to assuring the professional competence of healthcare professionals.    Regarding the professional development of nurses, the health chief said the Nursing Council has accepted the bureau’s invitation to formulate and implement the Voluntary Scheme on Advanced & Specialised Nursing Practice.   Launched early this year, the scheme is open for application for 16 specialties. Prof Chan urged the council to encourage qualified nursing staff to submit applications.   Additionally, the Hospital Authority's new measure to create the rank of Associate Nurse Consultant in the nursing grade can provide an alternative promotion pathway for nurses aspiring to develop a career in specialty nursing apart from the existing clinical management stream.   “The new grade structure will also facilitate continuous development in the nursing profession and promote the standard of nursing services," she said.
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