Hong Kong is renowned for having world-class health care services. It acts independently of China’s health system. In this guide we take a look at the private and public health systems in Hong Kong when it comes to birth and prenatal care, as well as the costs and some of the local traditions and beliefs when it comes to pregnancy.
Private vs public
In Hong Kong you’ll have the choice between giving birth in a public or a private hospital. But, what’s the difference? Really, it comes down to your budget and the level of luxury and personal care that you’re after. Whichever you choose, you should be in safe hands. Private hospitals in Hong Kong are more popular with expats as they generally have more personalised care and English speaking staff. Public hospitals are reliable and modern with well-qualified doctors, but they can be crowded with lengthy wait times.
In most cases, you’ll choose your obstetrician (OB) first and their preferred hospital will determine where you’ll give birth. If you use the private system for your pregnancy, you’ll be able to choose which OB is right for you. Through a public hospital, you’ll most likely see a different doctor/OB for each of your prenatal appointments and then another will deliver your baby.
If you choose to use the public system, you’ll need a referral letter from your medical practitioner and to register your pregnancy with a hospital. You’ll go to this hospital again for your initial scan at 13 weeks, and at this point, you’ll find out which hospital you’ve been booked with for your remaining check-ups and to deliver your baby. Expats with a Hong Kong ID card are able to receive significantly discounted rates with public hospitals – you’ll need a visa to live in Hong Kong for six months or more to register for one of these cards.
If you prefer to use a private clinic or hospital, you’ll need to register with your chosen provider early on in your pregnancy. As an AXA customer, you can make the most of the AXA Select medical network where we can settle bills directly with the hospital. You can find out more and search for providers in our network using our Provider Search tool.
You’ll be expected to pay a deposit to secure your care and delivery at the hospital very early on – this can cost anything from HK$10,000 to HK$20,0001. The hospital costs usually don’t include the costs of your prenatal appointments or tests and scans, so be sure to check what is and isn’t included in your birthing package.