Pregnancy can be among the most exciting times in a woman’s life. Nevertheless, if you are expecting a baby in Hong Kong, you might feel some anxiety about what to expect in terms of prenatal care and giving birth. However, rest assured that, if you are having your baby in Hong Kong, you will receive high-quality care and be treated according to the newest medical standards.
As a resident, you can receive free prenatal from public clinics when having a baby in Hong Kong. Still, some expats who are expecting a baby in Hong Kong prefer get treated by their private doctor. As parents-to-be you also have the choice between public clinics and private hospitals. We will provide you with information on both of these options for having a baby in Hong Kong, their advantages and disadvantages.
As always when you pick a doctor in Hong Kong, you can choose either public healthcare or private medical care when having a baby in Hong Kong. Both options provide a high medical standard, and you can be sure that you and your unborn baby are in good hands.
The Hong Kong Family Health Service provides you with a comprehensive shared-care program. It is administered by Maternal and Child Health Centers (MCHCs) and includes routine check-ups, laboratory tests and information on health issues during your pregnancy. If any abnormality is detected, the nurses at the Health Center will immediately refer you to an obstetrician at the nearest public hospital.
As soon as you realize that you are pregnant, you should schedule an appointment at one of the Maternal and Child Health Centers in your area. On your first visit, you will receive an index card where all your personal details and test results will be noted. Make sure to take this card with you to subsequent check-ups at the Health Center. The entire prenatal care program is free of charge for all residents having a baby in Hong Kong. However, appointments at the Health Center usually involve a lot of time spent in the waiting room.
If you would rather make use of private prenatal care while having a baby in Hong Kong, you can find qualified specialists in the Hong Kong Medical Association’s directory. You should also seek advice from other expats and ask them which doctor they recommend. Your private doctor will provide you with a full range of prenatal care and will actually be present at your delivery if you choose to give birth at a private hospital. However, you should expect to pay between HKD 800 and HKD 1,000 for every check-up appointment, not including additional testing and ultrasound exams.
There are no “public” midwives in Hong Kong. However, there are private midwives who will assist you when having a baby in Hong Kong and after the birth of your child. You can get more information from the Hong Kong Midwives Association as well as the Midwives Council of Hong Kong.
So far, one important question remains: How do you pay for all this if you choose private prenatal care and possibly a private midwife? You should check very carefully if maternal healthcare is included in your personal Hong Kong health insurance plan. Some insurers may require you to extend your regular plan to include maternal care and pay an additional premium. Others may cover it only in part or have a cap at a certain amount. If your private insurance does not cover the costs or if you do not hold any private insurance at all, the public system of prenatal care may be the better option. Some expats choose to get prenatal care from a private doctor, but to give birth at a public hospital in order to keep costs at a low. Either way, you should find out about the different payment methods in Hong Kong’s hospitals beforehand.
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