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Healthcare in Hong Kong
Giving Birth in Hong Kong
Are you thinking about having a baby in Hong Kong? Expat parents-to-be usually have a lot to take care of during the pregnancy. Read our guide on having a baby in Hong Kong and learn all about prenatal care, the delivery, and registering the birth of your child.
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Delivering Your Baby
When it comes to delivering your baby, once again, you have the choice between private hospitals in Hong Kong and public clinics. Moreover, even as a private patient you can choose to give birth at a public hospital. As far the staff’s qualifications and medical equipment are concerned, the standards are high in both public and private facilities. Some public hospitals, such as the Queen Mary Hospital or the Tsan Yuk Hospital, are university teaching hospitals with an especially high standard. However, many expats decide to opt for private medical care facilities with multilingual staff.
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Hong Kong’s private hospitals offer lots of amenities, similar to hotels, including single rooms with balconies, cable TV, and refrigerators. They may be even more luxurious than what you can find on Hong Kong’s rental market. However, luxury has its price: You can expect to pay any sum between HKD 25,000 up to HKD 100,000 for your stay in the clinic. And this is just for the stay itself– be prepared to spend another HKD 50,000 in charges for the obstetrician and other specialists.
On the upside, the doctor in charge of your delivery will be your personal ob/gyn. He or she will also book the hospital for you by confirming your pregnancy and sending the relevant documents to the hospital. Every private practitioner usually works together with one or more private hospitals, where they regularly administer deliveries and other surgeries. It is very important to have your doctor make the hospital booking as early as possible – places can be fully booked up to 7 months in advance!
If you choose a public hospital for giving birth, you will automatically be sent to the one in your district. As a patient at a public hospital, you only pay the regular hospital fee of HK$ 100 per day and a small admission fee. You can also consider delivering at a public hospital as a private patient. For an additional HKD 2,000 to 4,000 a day, you can stay in a smaller ward and consequently expect more attention from the staff. Keep in mind, however, that without a Hong Kong ID-card, giving birth in a public hospital can be just as expensive as in a private hospital. There is a minimum fee of HKD 39,000 for prenatal care and delivery.
After giving birth, you and your child will continue to be taken care of by your Maternal and Child Healthcare Center. They offer an infant immunization program as well as health and developmental exams until your child reaches the age of 5. As a mother, you are provided with physical check-ups as well as advice on breastfeeding, childcare, and parenting. To find out more about maternity leave, nannies, and daycare, please read our article on childcare in Hong Kong.
Registering the Birth
You should remember to register the birth of your baby with the Hong Kong authorities within 42 days of the birth. Once you have missed this deadline, you have to pay a fee to register your child after all. However, the registration process is a very easy procedure, which only requires a single half-hour appointment at a birth registry. You have to register your child in the district in which your child was born, by booking an appointment at the registry online beforehand.
If you are a married couple, it is sufficient if one of you goes to the registry with both of your Hong Kong ID cards or valid travel documents as well as your marriage certificate. Furthermore, the hospital has to send a so-called “birth return” to the registry in order to document your baby’s birth. Check with the hospital if they have sent this document to the registry already before you schedule an appointment. For unmarried couples, things tend to get a little more complicated. In this case, the father’s name can only be included in the birth register if both parents agree. For more information, check out the government website on registering your child in Hong Kong.
For an additional fee, you can get a certified copy of the birth entry, which will then enable you to register your child’s birth with your consulate. Contact your home country’s consulate directly to find out how to receive the necessary identification documents.