Hong Kong's health care system is highly sophisticated, providing quality health care. Find out, in this article, how to access to these.
When moving to a foreign country, you will probably have queries regarding health care. So if you are moving to Hong Kong, no need to worry! This special administrative region has one of the world's most sophisticated health care systems from which you can benefit during your stay. While infrastructures are modern and up to international norms, hospitals have highly qualified and skilled doctors having been trained in prestigious schools. Of course, health-related expenses are rather high, the system being one of the government's priorities.
Health care system
Both private clinics and public hospitals are equipped with high-tech material, as well as qualified and skilled staff. However, Hong Kong is deemed to be a very expensive destination in medical terms. In fact, it ranks third worldwide after the USA and China. In general, the system is very developed and efficient thanks to many general and specialized practitioners.
Most local doctors speak English. Hence, foreigners should have no trouble in communicating with them. However, this can be quite rare in the public health care system.
Public health care system
The public health care system consists of hospitals, general clinics, as well as other specialized clinics. To date, more than 40 public hospitals remain easily accessible to residents and non-residents. However, fees are higher when it comes to non-residents. This is why it is highly recommended to foreign nationals to subscribe to a private health insurance despite the absence of a social security system.
Private health care system
The expatriate community in Hong Kong is generally keener about the private health care system. Indeed, the private health care system is deemed to provide more comfort and intimacy to patients although the public health care system provides quality health care. Hence, you are likely to find some ten private hospitals in the region, most of which are found on the main island while a few are located in Kowloon and in the New Territories.
Access to health care
Both public and private health care services are easily accessible, even by public transport. However, you are advised to take an appointment in advance, especially when it comes to the public health care system where services are in high demand. In case of emergency, services provided by the staff is really worthwhile.
In case of need, the public health care system, as well as NGOs also provide ambulances. Note that you can request emergency services (police, fire services and ambulance) by dialing 999.
When paying a visit to a doctor in a public hospital, you are likely to need between HKD 300 and 500, depending on the type of doctor (general or specialized practitioner). Holders of the Hong Kong identity card will pay five times less. Note that these fees take into account only the visit. Other services such as medical examinations, medication and other consumer services are subject to additional fees.
Fees in public hospitals have to be paid in cash only.
As regards private clinics, fees are rather higher, varying from one clinic to another and depending on their specialization.
Medication and treatments provided by public hospitals are cheaper than those provided by the private health care system. However, this does not question their efficiency. In fact, the government has introduced a policy aiming at making treatments more accessible to the middle-class population.
Most medication is available in pharmacies, whether with or without prescription. However, traditional and alternative medicine is becoming more and more popular in Hong Kong, especially with patients suffering from different types of illnesses. Some clinics also provide traditional Chinese health care, including acupuncture, medicinal herbs, etc.
Department of Health www.dh.gov.hk
Hong Kong Hospital Authority www.ha.org.hk
Department of Health – List of private hospitals in Hong Kong www.dh.gov.hk/english
Chinese Medicine Council of Hong Kong www.cmchk.org.hk