Hong Kong's Healthcare System
Public facilities are split into 7 clusters so that care is evenly distributed across all of Hong Kong's districts. Each hospital cluster is made up of differing facilities so that patients can receive the same level of care no matter which district they abide in, and can benefit from a range of services to suit the demands of their illness or condition.
There are 12 private hospitals distributed throughout the city and while waiting times are minimal and the standard of facilities are exceptional, the costs of care can quickly reach extortionate amounts and patients rarely make use of the private system without a suitable health insurance plan.
Traveling to Hong Kong specifically to give birth has recently increased in popularity with many mothers wanting their child to be able to obtain a Hong Kong residency. However, non resident pregnant women should be aware that, even in the public system, costs of giving birth can be extortionate and there are strict requirements to even make a booking for obstetric services.
Because of the potential for large changes to the public and private health care sectors in Hong Kong, we have put together a guide that looks at the current state of both the public and private hospital systems.
Downloadable here: Private VS Public: Health Care in Hong Kong, the guide looks at the main aspects each system offers residents of, and visitors to, Hong Kong. Covering and comparing different aspects such as:
- Quality of care
- Accident and Emergency
- Alternative Medicine
This guide provides readers an in-depth look into what both the public and private systems have to offer. It also highlights that for many expats and foreign visitors to the city, the public system, while among the best in the world, still has concerns.
If you are a newly arrived expatriate into Hong Kong, and would like to talk to somebody about health insurance, visit our introduction and get in conact soon.
Hong Kong boasts supreme levels of healthcare, both in the public and private fields. However, such high quality comes at a price and healthcare costs in the city rank Hong Kong among the world's most expensive healthcare destinations. As is the case in many parts of the world today, Hong Kong is burdened by the continuously increasing costs of healthcare and factors such as advancing medical technologies and an aging population only add to these costs.
Hong Kong residents in possession of a Hong Kong I.D card benefit from significantly cheaper medical costs at public facilities but non-residents or visitors can make use of the public system as well. Non residents using the emergency services at a public hospital will be charged a set attendance fee but will always receive treatment, even if payment cannot be made immediately.
However, for non emergency treatment, as costs are subsidized by the HK Government, waiting lists can become very long and so some patients choose to avail of the private system.
The average wait time in accident and emergency departments in the public sector ranges from 15 to 101 minutes, depending on the urgency of the case. In specialist outpatient clinics, patients can expect to wait on average between 1-5 weeks for semi urgent cases and around 10-30 weeks for routine cases, depending on the speciality of the clinic itself.
Hong Kong is a multi-cultural city with many nationalities living amongst each other. The main languages spoken across the population are Cantonese, Mandarin and English. The majority of medical staff in all facilities are able to speak English so receiving treatment is a straightforward process.
Located in a sub-tropical region of Asia, Hong Kong is unfortunately vulnerable when it comes to mosquito borne diseases such as malaria and dengue fever. However, these are not a major cause for concern when visiting the city and simple protection against mosquitos is typically sufficient prevention.
At present, there are currently no vaccination requirements to enter Hong Kong however, the following vaccinations are often recommended for travellers:
- Hepatitis A
- Hepatitis B
- Japanese Encephalitis - recommended if you plan on spending time in rural areas areas
With potentially high medical costs to be burdened with, we advise anyone visiting or moving to Hong Kong to obtain an international medical insurance plan that can cover you for the duration of your stay in the city, as well as many other destinations that you may choose to visit. Our health insurance plans can be tailormade to offer you, your family, your employees or even your sports team the comprehensive coverage you require.
If you have questions about the healthcare system or health insurance in Hong Kong, feel free to contact us.