Three-Month Maternity Ban on Mainland Mothers

Closed Thread
  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jun 2007

    Three-Month Maternity Ban on Mainland Mothers

    Local women to get priority during "peak season for births":

    Hong Kong bans mainland Chinese from giving birth

    Macau News.Net
    Thursday 4th September, 2008 (IANS)

    Hong Kong hospitals Thursday started to turn away women arriving from mainland China to give birth in the city in an attempt to stop a flood of cross-border 'maternity tourists' costing the former British colony millions of dollars.

    The territory has imposed a three-month ban on childbirth bookings by mainland mothers, many of whom cross the border heavily pregnant to give birth in the wealthy city's public hospitals.

    Giving birth in Hong Kong not only guarantees them world-class health care but in many cases secures citizenship of the city of 6.9 million for children who would otherwise be entitled to only a Chinese passport.

    Hong Kong citizenship entitles them to free education, health care and other benefits throughout their life, the equivalent of a lottery win for children from poor families in southern China.

    The easing of cross-border restrictions in 2003 led to a flood of women crossing the border to give birth, sometimes arriving by the coach-load in 'maternity tours' organised by enterprising middlemen.

    More than 12,000 women from China gave birth in the territory in 2006, often leaving without paying nominal maternity charges, putting an enormous strain on the city's public health services.

    In February 2007, Hong Kong's Hospital Authority imposed charges of up to 6,000 US dollars for each non-resident birth, which initially led to a fall of almost 40 percent in mainland Chinese women giving birth in the city.

    But mainland women kept coming and in the first half of 2007 one fifth checked out without paying their bills while one third paid only a portion.

    Altogether, the cost of mainland mothers who have given birth in Hong Kong hospitals and then left without paying all or some of their bills totals around $6 million a year.

    Now, bookings for non-resident women have been suspended from September to December to allow local women to be given priority at the peak period for births in Hong Kong.

    Hospital Authority spokeswoman Beatrice Cheng said the ban might be extended to peak periods next year as the problem of overburdened maternity services remained acute.

    'September to December is the peak season for births,' she told government-run radio station RTHK Thursday. 'There will be 20 to 30 percent more deliveries compared to non-peak times.

    'Our priority is to serve local mothers and ensure all of them receive a service at public hospitals.'

    Hong Kong reverted to Chinese rule in 1997 after 156 years as a British colony but maintains a tightly-controlled border and economic and political autonomy under a 'one country two systems' arrangement.
    from Hong Kong bans mainland Chinese from giving birth

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Clear Water Bay (In Da Jungle)

    i have seen pregnant women being turned around and sent back to china at the immigration in LOK MA CHAU. The were probably on a tourist visa and not one of those one way permits.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Gold Coast Marina

    There is an easy solution to this. remove the right for the kid to live in HK - problem solved. Then only those who want the good healthcare and can pay for it would come, which would be much easier to service. I feel really sorry for locals who cannot find a hospital to give birth in - it's not like THEY have somewhere else to go!

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Park Island

    is there any particular reason why sep - dec is a peak time for births in hk? something to do with christmas / chinese new year conceptions maybe?!

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Jan 2007

    I don't feel as sorry for them as I do the local women who can't get a hospital room or the hospitals who are badly funded to begin and don't need the extra burden of people not settling their bills.

    I agree, remove the right of the child to abode in HK and everything that offers and we won't have to deal with this sort of thing.

    As a mother who got a hospital booking one day before giving birth (!!!!!!!!!!!!!) largely as a result of this problem I truly believe locals should be given priority.