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Why is physiotherapy so crazy expensive in hk?

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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jun 2013
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    Why is physiotherapy so crazy expensive in hk?

    I've been to a few places (mostly NT and kowloon) and prices range somewhere between 500-100 for generally poor treatment. Ie. A few minutes 'consultation' and then strapped to a machine. Basically a placebo.

    Then there's hk island. Dear lord. Checked out several cinics there Minimum prices are from 1,200-1,500. Also enquired about a couple of chiros, who charge 1,200, with 900 for follow-up.

    How is it that they charge more than specialist medical doctors/consultants with advanced degrees?


    I was looking into Singapore (a similarly expensive city) at the top rated clinics such as raffles, and their prices are 100SGD (about 600 HKD, half the price of Hong Kong).

    Is this crazy? Yeah I know "the rent, blah blah blah", but even relative to other things like food, clothes, and GP fees, physios seem unnaturally expensive by comparison).

    As an example, in my home country, a GP visit is about 50 euro, a physio about the same price (but for a full hour). In hk, physio is always more expensive than a doctor.

    Are there any good physios who'll charge less than an arm and a leg in hk? Does not seem likely.


  2. #2

    Join Date
    Dec 2013
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    My physio cost HKD60 a session.

    Yan Chai Hospital outpatient.

    Sure, it was with about 20 other people, but it was not materially any less than the private ones I had been to and was very effective. So yes, they strap you into a machine and leave you for 20 mins. Then come back and give you some other exercise/some other machine for a while and so on and rotate around the people in the room.

    Once you get into the hospital system, it's great. The easiest way to get into the system is to get picked up by an ambulance for something and stay a night. (that was my route in!).


  3. #3

    Join Date
    Jun 2013
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    Isn't that abusing the system in a way?

    Claiming its an emergency, so you're taken to A&E?
    I'm not saying you were, but I know many people go to A&E for non emergencies just because it's cheaper. Also the system is crazy overcrowded as it is. Aren't waiting times long?

    mlew likes this.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Dec 2013
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    Quote Originally Posted by HKthe:
    Isn't that abusing the system in a way?

    Claiming its an emergency, so you're taken to A&E?
    I'm not saying you were, but I know many people go to A&E for non emergencies just because it's cheaper. Also the system is crazy overcrowded as it is. Aren't waiting times long?
    It was an emergency. I fell and broke my ankle and damaged my shoulder.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Aug 2006
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    11,342

    Do a forum search, there's a guy over in Aberdeen who charges around 450 (as of several years ago) and is pretty good.


  6. #6

    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    13,154

    I have a need for physio - constant back pain, persisting for 3+ months.
    Most likely will need ultrasound therapy and some massage therapy.

    Public system : is there a specific hospital for this or can walk into any regular hospital?

    Private : any recommendations for a reasonable and affordable therapist?


  7. #7

    Join Date
    Jan 2010
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    6,226

    I don't think the price has anything to do with the level of treatment you are getting. There are crappy physiotherapists in Central as well who will hook you up to an ultrasonic or electric stimulation device and charge you $1000 for it. That's all the government hospitals do as well. Put some ice on it and some weird ultrasonic device. My current therapist charges $1300, but offers proper treatment with range of movement exercises, machines etc. You'll just have to go to a few until you find one you like.
    In any case my insurance will reimburse me so what do I care about the price.

    @HowardCoombs From recent personal experience I can tell you that the waiting time to see a specialist who can get you physio treatment at a public hospital is around 60 weeks.


  8. #8

    Join Date
    Jun 2013
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrgoodkat:
    I don't think the price has anything to do with the level of treatment you are getting. There are crappy physiotherapists in Central as well who will hook you up to an ultrasonic or electric stimulation device and charge you $1000 for it. That's all the government hospitals do as well. Put some ice on it and some weird ultrasonic device. My current therapist charges $1300, but offers proper treatment with range of movement exercises, machines etc. You'll just have to go to a few until you find one you like.
    In any case my insurance will reimburse me so what do I care about the price.
    @HowardCoombs From recent personal experience I can tell you that the waiting time to see a specialist who can get you physio treatment at a public hospital is around 60 weeks.
    Unlimited, full reimbursement? How expensive is your insurance plan?


    Wait 60 weeks just to be strapped to an ineffective machine at public hospital? Crazy. Same with mri. 2 years waiting time.

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Jun 2013
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    117

    @HowardCoombs

    Where are you located?
    Where are you willing to travel?

    What's your budget?

    I can recommend some you may find good.


  10. #10

    Join Date
    Aug 2017
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    Quote Originally Posted by HKthe:
    Unlimited, full reimbursement? How expensive is your insurance plan?


    Wait 60 weeks just to be strapped to an ineffective machine at public hospital? Crazy. Same with mri. 2 years waiting time.
    I needed to visit a specialist Rheumatologist. I was in a lot of pain all over back, legs, feet, neck, shoulders. I got referred by a government doctor and got an appointment for a year on!

    Ended up going private, getting blood tests/MRI etc and then getting referred back to government hospital after receiving a private diagnoses. Then the wait was only a month!

    It seems you have to ply the system a lot here, and have the money or insurance cover to do so.
    mlew likes this.

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