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Health & Insurance

Hospitals in Hong Kong

There are a lot of hospitals in Hong Kong, both private and public, expats can choose from when they fall ill. Are you unsure if you should opt for private or public care? Or are you looking for info on visiting hours and fees? Read our InterNations guide and learn more about hospitals in Hong Kong.

Public and private hospitals in Hong Kong are actually not very different when it comes to their health standards. Both maintain the highest medical and technical standards and employ specialists in their respective areas of treatment. The one major difference, however, is the services they provide. Private hospitals in Hong Kong offer you everything from your own balconies with beautiful ocean views to à la carte menus for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The government-funded public hospitals on the other hand can be considered the no-frills version of health treatment. You will receive every kind of medical attention you require, but you should not expect too much of a “customer-friendly” service as a patient in one of the public hospitals.

If you decide to opt for one of the private hospitals in Hong Kong, make sure to get the right private health insurance plan. While treatment in public hospitals only requires a more or less symbolic charge of HKD 100 a day, prices for private hospitals are soaring. Still, Hong Kong’s private hospitals remain very popular with expats, as they offer not only luxurious environments, but also multilingual staff, much longer visiting hours and treatment by your own private doctor.

Public Hospitals

Public hospitals in Hong Kong are well up to Western standards both when it comes to professional expertise as well as medical equipment. Hong Kong’s university hospitals in particular have a good reputation for using the newest medical methods and being able to treat even the most complicated cases. Hong Kong’s public hospitals are organized in regional clusters, to make sure that residents in every district have access to different fields of specialist care. Many of these hospitals have 24-hour accident / emergency services. They are also equipped with a system to determine the relative priority of patients, thus trying to make sure that those in the most serious condition are treated first.

As public hospitals in Hong Kong are part of the official healthcare system financed by the government, they are the place to go if you want to keep your cost of living in Hong Kong at a minimum. A day in a public hospital as a regular patient costs you HKD 100, with an additional HKD 50 admission fee. In exchange for the low fees, however, the service and conveniences available at public hospitals are rather limited. A regular hospital ward accommodates up to 10 patients and the food given out in public hospitals in Hong Kong does not have the best reputation.

Visiting Hours and Private Patients

Visiting hours vary between different hospitals and even hospital units. To find out the exact hours for a specific hospital, check the hospital listings by the Hong Kong Hospital Authority. Most hospitals in Hong Kong have visiting hours around lunch time and later on in the evening. Since 2010, there are stricter rules concerning visiting hours in all hospitals – a measure established by the authorities after recent outbreaks of swine flu. This includes a restriction of visiting hours to no more than 3 or 4 hours a day and every patient can only have a maximum of 2 visitors at a time.

If you want to make use of the excellent medical facilities at public hospitals, but do not want to forego the comforts of a private room and better service, you can stay as a private patient in a public hospital. A sum of HKD 2,000 - 4,000 per day will get you a single room or a bed in a two-bed room with attached bathrooms and such luxuries as TV and your own telephone. However, as a private patient, you also have to pay separately for doctor’s fees and any treatment you need. Compared to the regular treatment financed by the Hong Kong government, this is quite expensive. However, it is still much cheaper than a stay at one of the private hospitals in Hong Kong.

 

We do our best to keep this article up to date. However, we cannot guarantee that the information provided is always current or complete. 

InterNations Expat Magazine