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Health Service

Hong Kong - Health Service

The phone number to call in Hong Kong for emergency medical assistance is 999. The number for the Department of Health for advice, queries and non emergencies is +(852) 29618989.

Healthcare in Hong Kong is of the highest standard. Private and public hospitals are up to date with the latest medical equipment and technology. They also have highly trained, attentive English-speaking staff.

Do hospitals provide full care or just medical care? The answer to this is centred around the services of public and private hospitals. Private hospitals centre on full medical care, ongoing care, routine check ups and so on. Public hospitals concentrate on medical emergencies. However, public hospitals do open their doors to the general public, and many people attend for medical care. While standards are very high in public hospitals, be prepared sometimes for long waits.

Healthcare is paid for in terms of eligibility. If you are eligible, you pay subsidised rates. If you are not, you pay standard rates which are substantially more. Healthcare costs are paid to the hospital, in cash only.

Below are the details of those eligible:
• Those certified to treatment by the Chief Executive of the Hospital Authority.
• Children under the age of 11 who are HKSAR residents
• Those who have a Hong Kong Identity card that has not expired or been suspended.

If you do not have healthcare insurance you will be treated at a public hospital, where the above measures apply.

Prices are shown on the Department of Health's site differentiating between eligible, non eligible, private and public hospitals and treatments.

Health insurance in Hong Kong is very much recommended. If you are not yet eligible for subsidised healthcare in the public hospitals it is well worth investing in health insurance for yourself as well as for your spouse/children over the age of 11. Initially, after an accident, an expat would be taken to the Accident and Emergency department of a public hospital. Once they are in a stable condition, if they have health insurance, they will be transferred to a private hospital.

Health Plan providers (Pre designed plans and you choose one that suits you)
http://www.bupa.com.hk/eng/individuals.aspx (HK only)
http://www.bupa-intl.com/ (International)
Health Plan Brokers (Work for you for your best interest)

Emergency treatment is not free. At a public hospital for example, for a non eligible person the cost of attending Accident and Emergency is $990, and an eligible person is $100.

Initially, if any emergency medical treatment is needed the visitor will go to a public hospital and they will be treated there. As above, with health insurance, the visitor will be transferred once in a stable condition to a private hospital unless the ailment can be dealt with on site, in a specialist wing. A visitor will wait with everyone to be seen and may have to wait for quite some time. Without medical insurance they may also face some heavy payments to the hospital.

Smoking is a fairly common sight in Hong Kong, particularly with more Mainland Chinese citizens relocating there. 28.1% of male and female adults over the age of 18 smoke in Mainland China. In Hong Kong it is 10.7% .The prevalence has continuously dropped over recent years and is the lowest since 1982. Government policies have been put in place to counteract smoking among the population such as raising tobacco tax, a ban on smoking in public places and a ban on advertising. While a majority of the population do not smoke, for those who do it is considered by them to aid weight loss and to manage stress. Smoking is prohibited for those under the age of 18.

Generally, Hong Kong is a healthy place with residents with long life expectancies. Males expect to reach 83.4 years and females 86.7 years of age. The leading cause of death in Hong Kong is malignant neoplasm (cancer) at 32.9%. Other health issues which the population have are listed as heart disease, cardiovascular disease and respiratory disease. It’s very common for Hong Kongers to suffer from gum disease (70%) but there is more awareness nowadays through government led advertising, and more care is taken by locals as a result. With an aging population, Hong Kong finds itself with several hundred thousand cases of osteoporosis each year and this is set to rise as there is a higher percentage of adults over 65.

There are counselling services in Hong Kong; some of these are as follows.

St John’s counselling service
Mental health organisation with English speaking confidential telephone service.
Tel: 00 + (852) 25257207/08
Email: info@sjcshk.com

The Samaritans Hong Kong
Multilingual voluntary helpline
Tel: 00 + (852) 2896 0000
Email: jo@samaritans.org.hk

Rainbow of Hong Kong
Multilingual helpline for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people.
Tel: 00 + (852) 81081069
Email: info@rainbowhk.org

Expat Health Insurance Partners

Bupa Global

At Bupa we have been helping individuals and families live longer, healthier, happier lives for over 60 years. We are trusted by expats in 190 different countries and have links with healthcare organisations throughout the world. So whether you're moving abroad for a change of career or a change of scene, with our international private health insurance you will always be in safe hands.


Cigna has worked in international health insurance for more than 30 years. Today, Cigna has over 71 million customer relationships around the world. Looking after them is an international workforce of 31,000 people, plus a network of over 1 million hospitals, physicians, clinics and health and wellness specialists worldwide, meaning you have easy access to treatment.