Traditional Chinese Simplified Chinese Email this article
SFH on medical expenditure and non-local mothers giving birth in Hong Kong

     Following is a transcript of remarks (English portion) made by the Secretary for Food and Health, Dr York Chow, after attending a radio programme this morning (February 3):

Reporter: (On the amount of local medical expenditure as compared with other countries and deterrent measures against non-local women giving birth in Hong Kong.)

Secretary for Food and Health: We are spending about 2.5 per cent of our GDP (Gross Domestic Product) on public medical expenses. Combining with another 2.5 per cent from the private sector, Hong Kong is spending about 5 per cent of our GDP on health-care services, which is considered low compared with many developed countries. But our health-care system is quite different from the others, and our taxation system is also different, so we cannot really make a comparison. The most important principle is to ensure that our medical and health-care system can be sustainable and be able to cater for a majority of the essential needs of Hong Kong people. I think we are able to achieve that at least.

     Regarding the treatment for Mainland mothers (giving birth in Hong Kong), we have already decided in 2011 that we need to set quotas because we cannot have an unlimited demand (for obstetrics services) from such a sector. In 2012, we have limited the number to 35,000 and this number will need to be adjusted for 2013. We can see that local mothers are giving birth more now, which is a very good sign, and more young people are getting married as well. This is very encouraging for Hong Kong. So we must reserve sufficient capacity for local parents and this is the reason why we need to adjust (the quota) every year. We also need to stress that although we allow a certain number of Mainland mothers to deliver their babies in Hong Kong, we are discouraging anyone who tries to bypass our registration system. Our Government is doing every means to go over (the issues with) the Mainland Government to deter this.       

(Please also refer to the Chinese portion of the transcript.)

Ends/Friday, February 3, 2012
Issued at HKT 13:02


Print this page