Posted on Jan 12, 2015 by Alexander Nellist
In Hong Kong, if a family can afford it, the vast majority of mothers will choose to give birth in private hospitals. Any mother researching hospitals will quickly find that the private hospitals here in Hong Kong are among the most expensive in the world when it comes to giving birth.
What can I expect to pay to give birth at a private hospital in Hong Kong?
One of the most common trends among private hospitals in Hong Kong is the offering of Maternity/Obstetrics packages. These packages have been designed to cover some of the costs related to either natural or cesarean birth and include elements like regular delivery room services (nursing care, routine observation monitoring and any necessary supplies), and both pre and post-natal observation care and treatment.
These packages have proven popular not just with local mothers, but with expat mothers as well, with the average number of hospital visits steadily increasing year-on-year. While every hospital offering these packages posts the price on their website, there is one crucial element missing from the prices: the cost of an Obstetrician, Paediatrician, Anaesthesiologist and other doctors' fees are not included. Some packages also exclude special treatment, medication, and even epidural analgesia or spinal anaesthesia during labour. This can drive the price of even the most reasonable sounding package up by as much as 50-300%, or more if there is an emergency.
According to research carried out by Pacific Prime on the prices of giving birth at a private hospital in Hong Kong, without insurance, costs can be astronomical. As you can see from the table below, a normal birth in a private room costs an average of USD 24,000. Of course, this is just an average as some hospitals will charge more, with some even charging for food and medical tests. It’s not uncommon to see the average cost of a normal birth top USD 30,000.
From the research and averages noted by Pacific Prime, births by caesarean face an even higher cost. This is largely because so many hospitals charge extra for scheduled and emergency caesarean births, a fee which varies depending on the time of day and the date itself. The average cost for a caesarean birth in a private room will cost around USD 31,000, but it is not unheard of to see costs top USD 40,000 or more.
How much does it cost in other cities in the region?
Without even comparing the figures to other similar cities in the region, it is obvious that giving birth at a private hospital in Hong Kong is a costly endeavor, the question is just how desperate are the numbers when compared to similar cities in the region?
From the table above, it is plain to see that private hospitals in Hong Kong are far and above the most expensive city to give birth in. In fact, hospitals in the cheapest city in our survey - Bangkok - charges roughly 10% of the total cost in Hong Kong, and offers hospitals and healthcare professionals about on-par with those in Hong Kong.
One point of interest worth pointing out is the prices charged in Singapore, a city that often parallels Hong Kong when it comes to cost of living. Average costs in Singapore come out to less than 50% of those charged by similar facilities in Hong Kong.
Shanghai on the other hand charges slightly more than the other major cities in the region, likely because the hospitals employ Western-trained, English speaking doctors, which will often lead to an increase in the prices charged.
Dubai, interestingly enough, comes in at a much more affordable rate, when compared to Hong Kong, of USD 4,700 for a normal birth and USD 7,126 for a caesarean section.
What are my options to offset the cost?
Regardless of an expat’s status in Hong Kong, if they plan to give birth in the city, you are probably going to need to find a way to offset the costs related to childbirth at a private hospital. Pacific Prime is perfectly situated to help you find a maternity insurance plan that can help cover the exponentially high costs here in Hong Kong. Our insurance experts (and parents) can offer you not only share personal advice on finding the right hospital and doctor for you, but can also help you find the perfect maternity insurance plan. Contact us today to learn more.