It has to be said that medical care in Hong Kong is excellent. So, if you’re planning on having your baby here, it’s a great place to be.
When it comes to the Hong Kong health system, first it’s necessary to understand that it’s divided into two sectors: public and private.
For those who are Hong Kong residents and hold an identity card, you can choose from either service. Both provide an excellent option, and are clean, safe, and staffed by skilled professionals.
Costs of Using the Public Health System
As of end January 2016, the Hospital Authority manages 42 public hospitals and institutions, 47 specialist outpatient clinics, and 73 general outpatient clinics.
These 162 hospitals and clinics are divided into what is known as “cluster” locations – of which there are seven. These are:
- The Hong Kong East Cluster
- The Hong Kong West Cluster
- The Kowloon Central Cluster
- The Kowloon East Cluster
- The Kowloon West Cluster
- The New Territories East Cluster
- The New Territories West Cluster
For those holding a Hong Kong ID card, the costs are very low. Your antenatal appointments will be free (the first at 10 weeks).
You’ll be expected to pay for your ultrasound (there are only two done under the government system) at a cost of around HK$300 each – and for each day you spend in hospital (HK$100 per day).
You should register with the Family Health Service Maternal and Child Health Centre as soon as you know you are pregnant.
But What If I’m an Expat Eithout an ID Card?
In such a situation, you can also avail yourself of the public healthcare system, by purchasing an antenatal package. The cost of this is HK$39,000 and includes:
- One antenatal check up
- Delivery/delivery care service
- Three days (two nights) in a public general ward related to the delivery/delivery care service.
Any extra antenatal check ups will cost HK$700 each, and any extra days of hospitalization needed will cost HK$3,300 per day.
However, you should be aware that this is the price for those who pre-register with the Hospital Authority. For those who are not registered, the price rises to HK$ 90,000.
You should register as soon as possible, because each hospital has a quota for non-residents – and because of the huge amount of Chinese and other immigrants living in Hong Kong, these places can get quickly filled up.
You should also know that there is no guarantee you’ll be treated by an English speaking practitioner, and you probably won’t see the same health care professional each time you visit.
However, be well assured that everyone who does see you is highly trained – Hong Kong is well known for having a health care system that’s comparable to those in the best European cities.
Costs Using the Private Healthcare System
There are many reasons that expats choose to use a private hospital to take care of all their obstetric needs. These include:
- The guarantee of having English speaking healthcare staff
- A dedicated obstetric doctor and/or midwife
- Luxurious hospital rooms – similar to what you’d expect to find in a hotel
Be aware that it’s once again necessary to be booked into your requested hospital as soon as possible – even up to 7 months in advance!
This is because, in many cases, locals and Chinese time the birth of their child to coincide with certain dates on the calendar. Therefore, booking as early as you can is necessary to get the location that you want.
There are not many private hospitals in Hong Kong. The full government list can be found here.
When it comes to costs for a private maternity package, these differ from hospital to hospital. Approximate prices at some of the various private clinics and hospitals in Hong Kong are as follows:
Hong Kong Sanitorium and Hospital
Extra days’ stay charges apply, as do fees for an emergency C-section, a specified time for a C-Section, or an out of hours C-Section procedure. All package prices do not include doctor’s fees.
Here prices start from HK$17,100 for a normal delivery on a 6-bed ward, through to HK$79,100 for an elective C-section delivery in a deluxe room.
Once again, prices don’t include doctor’s fees, and additional charges will apply for extra days in the hospital and unexpected procedures.
Matilda International Hospital
Standard room (ward with 4 beds) prices begin at HK$19,500 for a regular delivery through to HK$94,000 for an elective time specific C-section. Doctor’s fees and unexpected procedure charges apply as before.
St. Paul’s Hospital
Prices here range from HK$15,000 with a bed on a standard ward to HK$51,700 for an out of hours elective, time specific C-section.
This hospital offers one of the most affordable private options in Hong Kong.
St. Theresa’s Hospital
The sister hospital to St. Paul’s, mentioned above, here charges start from HK$14,800 for a normal delivery with a bed in a 5-bed ward, through to HK$39,800 for an elective C-section (not at a specified time).
This is not an exhaustive list of the private hospitals that offer maternity packages in Hong Kong. Others to choose from include:
- Hong Kong Baptist Hospital
- Union Hospital
- Tsuen Wan Adventist Hospital
- Precious Blood Hospital (Caritas)
It is necessary to clarify exactly what is included in your private package. For instance, in some cases an epidural anaesthetic will be extra, as may be the use of any special equipment or instruments, multiple pregnancy, high risk pregnancy, post natal complications, etc.
You are also likely to be asked to pay a deposit when booking, often amounting to several thousands of dollars (typically HK$10,000 to HK$20,000).
When paying for a private maternity package, it’s not unlikely that the cost will end up costing upwards of HK$100,000. However, by paying for the privilege, you’ll ensure various luxuries that you won’t enjoy when using the public health care system.