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Cost of giving birth in Hong Kong `should double' for mainlanders

Mary Ann Benitez and Serinah Ho The Standard 05/09/2011 21:26
Cost of giving birth in Hong Kong `should double' for mainlanders - Hong Kong - health care - health - society - birth

Private hospitals should double the cost of maternity packages for pregnant mainlanders to deter them from coming to Hong Kong and help subsidize the cost of treating critically ill newborns, the president of the Hong Kong Medical Association said.

"Currently the maternity package rate [for non-local mothers] is HK$59,000 for delivery," Gabriel Choi Kin said. "If they increase it to HK$100,000 or more, this will cover at least three days of neonatal intensive care."

Those who do not need the neonatal service can subsidize those who need it, he said. Pregnant mainlanders have been coming to Hong Kong in increasing numbers as babies born here gain automatic right of abode.

If their newborns need intensive care, they are usually sent to the public hospital sector, which is already in dire need of neonatologists and specialist nurses.

His remarks came as two groups of pregnancy-related protests were held.

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