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Your Guide to Ambulances for Medical Emergencies in Hong Kong

It’s always good to remain prepared for the worst-case scenarios in life, such as handling medical emergencies in Hong Kong. In particular, you’ll need to understand how the emergency services work, which includes when to call an ambulance, how to conduct yourself, and what numbers to dial. 

In this Pacific Prime Hong Kong article, we’ll provide you with all the information you’ll need in this matter.

Individual Health Insurance Plans

When to Call an Ambulance

In general, you should call an ambulance in a situation where the patient can’t seek medical help on their own. 

Before we look at emergency ambulance services in Hong Kong, let us delve into the common emergencies in the city-state. This is to give you an idea of the kind of situations you should be calling an ambulance for. Here are some of the common emergencies (non-exhaustive list):

  • Unconsciousness is caused by a variety of things like disease, drug abuse, or injury. It results in airway obstruction, which deprives oxygen content in the brain.
  • Stroke is caused by partial or total suspension of blood supply to the brain.
  • Heart disease is caused by an inadequate supply of blood and oxygen to the heart muscle because of the narrowing or blocking of coronary arteries.
  • Asthma is caused by the gradual or sudden narrowing of the bronchi, which results in breathing difficulties, particularly when exhaling.

Note: For tips on how to spot the associated symptoms and handle patients with the aforementioned conditions, please check out the advice given by the Hong Kong Fire Safety Department (HKFSD), as they are in charge of running one part of the emergency ambulance service in the city-state.

How to Call an Ambulance

You can call for an ambulance through a few different numbers. Whichever one you opt for, depending on whether you prefer public or private hospitals in the city-state, you should remember to stay calm and clearly communicate the following points to the operator and/or the ambulance crew:

  • Nature of emergency: What happened? Did someone faint? Are there injuries sustained? How many people are involved? Etc.
  • Location: Where is the patient located? Give the area, street, as well as any landmark that will make the ambulance crew easily locate you.

Note: For the emergency services to quickly locate you, see if you spot a light post or road bollards with 5-digit numbers. This unique number gives your exact location.

  • Symptoms and patient details: What are the patient’s symptoms? Give their age, sex, and (if relevant to the emergency) a brief description of their medical history.
  • Contact telephone number: Is there a number that the ambulance crew will be able to reach you on? This is important in case they are unable to locate you.

The below information gives you two emergency ambulance service (EAS) numbers, which are to be used 24/7 if you require immediate medical attention. 

For non-emergency situations such as transfer to or from medical institutions, call for non-emergency ambulance transfer services (NEATS), you have other options. The service runs in specified periods so be sure to book in advance to use it.

EAS: Dial 999 for an Ambulance to Take You to a Public Hospital

If you’d like an ambulance to take you to a public hospital in Hong Kong, you can dial the 999 Hotline for EAS anytime. As this is run by the HKFSD, you can also call them directly at 2735 3355. This service is available from 36 depots across the city including outlying islands.

For both Hong Kong ID cardholders and non-ID cardholders, there is no ambulance cost when using this service. Typically, the ambulance will take you to the nearest public hospital. However, in rare cases, it may be able to take you to a private hospital if you have a doctor’s letter.

EAS: Dial 1878 000 for an Ambulance to Take You to a Public or Private Hospital

If you’d like an ambulance to take you to a public or private hospital in Hong Kong, you can dial 1878 000 for EAS. This service is run by the St. John’s Ambulance Brigade (SJAB), which is located at the following addresses. It’s highly recommended to only ring this number if you’re near them.

  • Hong Kong: 2 Tai Hang Road, Causeway Bay
  • Kowloon: 10 Princess Margaret Road, Kowloon
  • New Territories: 28 Tin Ping Road, Sheung Shui

There is no ambulance cost when using this service. While the ambulance can take you to either a public or private hospital of your choice, in the event of a life-threatening emergency, it will simply take you to the nearest public hospital.

Note: SJAB also provides NEATS, but priority will be given to EAS because they have a limited number of ambulances on call. While their EAS service is free, their NEATS services come with a charge. The ambulance cost for a single trip, not including the tunnel toll, is HKD $300.

Your Other Options for NEATS

In addition to the NEATS services provided by the SJAB, you’ll also have other options. There’s the Auxiliary Medical Services and the Hospital Authority Services. These have very specific aims, as well as criteria for eligibility. Find out more about this and how to avail of their services.

Secure Private Health Insurance With Pacific Prime Hong Kong

While EAS is free for foreigners and expats, securing expat health insurance in Hong Kong is still a good move, as Hong Kong’s healthcare system doesn’t come cheap. What’s more, international health insurance allows you to access care abroad, which is perfectly aligned with the expat lifestyle!

To learn more about health insurance matters in the city-state, you can browse updated resources on the Pacific Prime Hong Kong blog. We’ve been operating in the insurance industry for over 20 years now and are constantly looking for ways to help our clients navigate the world of insurance.

Contact us today to compare health insurance plans for your needs and budgets from top insurers. Alternatively, contact our expert advisors for a no-obligation quote and unbiased insurance consultation, they’ll come up with the most compatible insurance solution for you.

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Content Creator at Pacific Prime Hong Kong
Eric is an experienced content writer specializing in writing creative copies of marketing materials including social media posts, advertisements, landing pages, and video scripts.

Since joining Pacific Prime, Eric was exposed to a new world of insurance. Having learned about insurance products extensively, he has taken joy and satisfaction in helping individuals and businesses manage risks and protect themselves against financial loss through the power of words.

Although born and raised in Hong Kong, he spent a quarter of his life living and studying in the UK. He believes his multicultural experience is a great asset in understanding the needs and wants of expats and globe-trotters.

Eric’s strengths lie in his strong research, analytical, and communication skills, obtained through his BA in Linguistics from the University of York and MSc in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) from the University of Bristol.

Outside of work, he enjoys some me-time gaming and reading on his own, occasionally going absolutely mental on a night out with friends.
Eric Chung