Even though Hong
Kong diverted from the UK system of healthcare in 1990, the Hong Kong government
remained committed to offering low cost healthcare to its citizens.
Typically individuals possessing a Hong Kong permanent identity card will
only have to pay a fee of around HK$ 60 per night if they are hospitalized
into a public ward at a public hospital. Now while this figure may
seem extremely low from a USA or UK viewpoint it must be remembered that
this “hospitalization” fee does not include the costs of any surgeries
or treatment outside of the individual merely occupying a bed. Local
and foreign patients alike quickly discover that receiving treatment in
a “cheaper” public hospital will often end up costing the same amount as
a shorter stay, with better care, at a private medical facility.
Kong, arguably one the jewels of Asia, is world renowned as a city that
is both extremely affluent and cosmopolitan. With a large number
of multinational corporations making Hong Kong the location of their Asian
headquarters, the city’s proximity to China, and the veritable cornucopia
of tourist sights (including all the discount markets, and historic locations),
it is no wonder that Hong Kong has become one of the world favorite destinations.
In the years immediately following the city’s transfer back to China (1997),
there was, justifiably, some concern as to Hong Kong’s future; however
with the city bouncing back from the Asian financial crisis, weathering
the dual medical emergencies of both SARS and Avian Flu Hong Kong has again
resumed its position as the worlds freest economy and one of the major
players in the international development of Asia as a whole.
As Hong Kong
continues its development more and more individuals are choosing to either
visit or permanently relocate to the city, and one of the main issues that
concerns the ever increasing number of foreign nationals and expatriates
who are moving to Hong Kong is the state of the city’s healthcare service.
Hong Kong departed from the UK style National Health Service in 1990 with
the creation of the Hong Kong Hospital Authority. The Hong Kong hospital
authority, in conjunction with the Department of Health, oversees the management
of all public healthcare facilities in the City.
It has been
argued, recently that having these two departments working on the same
problems (i.e. healthcare oversight) has caused more problems that not.
The Public healthcare system in Hong Kong has been criticized in terms
of the quality of service that it is able to provide. While there
are a number of Public hospitals in the city, more often than not, these
medical facilities are continually packed with patients. The large
number of individuals who seek treatment at these facilities has lead to
increased need for qualified doctors and nurses who, unfortunately, are
not being trained fast enough.
This has lead
to more and more patients choosing to receive their treatment at the city’s
many private healthcare facilities. However, it must be stated that
while the private medical facilities in Hong Kong (hospitals such as the
Adventist or Matilda) are able to offer treatment options and care levels
that are much higher than those found in public hospitals, these medical
facilities are much more expensive.
Hong Kong is
notorious for having some of the highest healthcare costs in the world.
The city is ranked, along with Israel, as having the second highest costing
healthcare system in the world behind the USA. This ranking includes
both the private and public healthcare facilities and in this case it becomes
evident that paying for medical treatment in Hong Kong is not something
you would want to do out of pocket. This situation has only worsened
further since the start of 2007. With an increased number of mainland
Chinese opting to use the city’s superior healthcare services the hospitals
and clinics around Hong Kong have had an entirely new level of stress placed
on them. Because of this the government of HKSAR is in the process
of instituting new price reforms, and some of these have already been put
Due to the
large number of mainland (People’s Republic of China) women who are entering
the city in order to give birth the Hong Kong Hospital Authority has implemented
a blanket price rise for maternity costs around the region. Since
1997 Hong Kong has seen a huge rise in the number of Chinese women crossing
the border from China for one reason; to give birth. This can be
attributed to a number of factors, but the leading reason for this trend
is the fact that any child who is born in Hong Kong receives the right
of abode in the city and the chance of a much better life than they would
have on the mainland. Every year thousands of Chinese mothers cross
the border to give their children the chance of a better life or to avoid
the PRC’s strict one child policy.
to this influx of pregnant women the Hong Kong government raised the minimum
delivery cost in the city to almost US$ 6000. It is important to
remember that this is the basic cost and does not take into account any
anesthetics or “complication of pregnancy” charges. Obviously this
price tag is beyond the means of many mainland families, and even local
Hong Kongers, but it extends further than that. This general increase
in maternity costs apply to any woman who has not had pre-natal check ups
with a Hong Kong doctor or who have not booked a bed at a local hospital;
so rather than just targeting women from mainland China, this cost rise
affects any pregnant woman entering the territory.
As one would
expect, many foreign expats living in the city, and even Hong Kong nationals,
turn to insurance to help them cope with the high costs associated with
quality medical treatment. In this regard people usually have two
options; Local or International health insurance. While these options
may seem, at first glance, remarkably similar they are extremely different.
A local Hong Kong insurance plan will adjust premiums according to the
current medical costs in the city, as well as penalizing any claims that
an individual makes by increasing the plan’s premium accordingly.
In addition to this local health insurance plans will not work outside
of the country in which they were obtained. In the modern world,
where people are prone to more international travel than ever before, this
poses a difficult problem, as they can never be guaranteed the coverage
that they need while overseas without purchasing an additional travel policy.
Local health insurance policies will also usually have a date whereby they
can no longer be renewed, this means that the policyholder is not guaranteed
coverage in the future in the event that they contact a serious illness
or suffer from a major injury.
health insurance plans are more versatile in their nature, and while they
are not specifically designed with the Hong Kong market in mind they will
typically afford a policyholder higher levels of coverage than are usually
associated with a local health insurance policy. International health
insurance plans are community rated; this means that premiums are not calculated
on an individual basis but rather on the rate of global medical inflation.
By providing plans that are community rated, international health insurance
plans are guaranteeing their policyholder that they will always be paying
the same premium as everyone else in their age group, regardless of the
individuals claims history. In addition to this international health
insurance plans are globally portable, so even if the policyholder relocates
away from Hong Kong their coverage will travel with them.
Hong Kong is
an extremely modern and fascinating city; this however does not stop the
healthcare service there being extremely broad, complex, and expensive.
In reality all the issues that are currently inherent in the Hong Kong
healthcare system are far too varied for a single article and require that
large amounts of attention be paid to them. If you are planning on
moving to or visiting Hong Kong, you should consult a professional and
understand what options you have in regards to protecting your health and
the health of your loved ones.
is one of the largest international insurance brokers worldwide.
in interantional medical insurance, providing coverage options for individuals,
families, groups, tourists, and education professionals. With plans that
can provide comprehensive care throughout Hong Kong. The expert advisors
at Globalsurance are well-acquainted with Hong
Kong Health Insurance, and can help tailor the right international
insurance plan for any situation.
of the Orient - A Guide to Relocating Living and Working in Hong Kong -
The Guide to Relocating Living and Working in Hong Kong -
It is common knowledge that Hong Kong is exotic, an excellent business
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world's highest IQ per capita and that it is a very civilized and stimulating
place to live. This report, in eBook format, provides current insider information
on moving to and living in Hong Kong - written by someone who has done
exactly that. In the process, he learned what it takes to live and be happy
in great city. The author is a British expat who has found happiness in
the Orient and believes you will too.
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