Healthcare in Hong Kong
Hong Kong has one of the most sophisticated, and expensive, health care systems in the Asia region. Boasting both public and private hospital facilities, there is still a wide range of costs and services offered between the two. A brief overview of the two systems is published elsewhere on Just Landed, however this article will give a more detailed picture of what you can expect cost wise from going public or private in Hong Kong.
Hospital inpatient and outpatient visits
As you might expect, the charges in the private health sector are much more than those of the public sector. While the quality of service in the public sector is still high, the premiums you pay for the private sector ensure you avoid common concerns with government hospitals, such as "ridiculous" waiting times.
Still, it’s worth seeing what both inpatient and outpatient visits can cost so you can make the best decision possible for your health and the health of your loved ones. All costs are in Hong Kong Dollars (HKD$).
In Hong Kong, people are eligible for government subsidised medical care if they hold a valid Hong Kong identity card. These are issued to all citizens, permanent residents and people residing in Hong Kong with a valid visa (like a work or dependent visa). If you are a tourist without an HKID, then you will be subject to paying the non-eligible persons charges which are considerably higher.
Common procedure costs
Unlike Singapore, finding figures for the cost of common surgeries and procedures held in Hong Kong public hospitals is hard to find. However, many private facilities will advertise their prices and packages to the public. What can be helpful is to compare the average private sector cost of common procedures to other countries (in HKD$):
As can be seen, Hong Kong remains much more competitive in its pricing than the world’s most expensive healthcare system in the US, however still has charges towering above countries like Spain.
Securing health insurance to cover costs
A wise move for anyone visiting or living in Hong Kong is to look into obtaining healthcare to safeguard yourself against some of the highest medical fees in Asia. Many expats may find that their employer will provide medical benefits as part of their remuneration package, however it is very likely that the limits and benefits of employer-provided plans are quite low. In this case, top-up plans can be bought to extend your work plan so that you won’t find yourself caught paying largely out-of-pocket.
Those of you whose employers don’t provide insurance, or if you’re an unemployed dependent, then buying health insurance for Hong Kong can be tricky - there are a number of well known insurers offering varying degrees of coverage plans. Finding a comprehensive plan that can meet your needs, or the needs of your family, can be a challenge. You can get a free quote from Pacific Prime Hong Kong, who can help you find the right cover as a leading broker in Asia for more than 15 years.