You’re pregnant in Hong Kong! Congrats Mama! Now it’s time to start researching delivery packages at Hong Kong hospitals. You’ll quickly realise there are a lot of options and pros and cons for both public hospitals and private healthcare options. Don’t worry, we’ll help you through.
The first big question for most people who are trying to have or are expecting children in Hong Kong is whether to go to a Hong Kong public hospital or opt for a delivery package at a private hospital. You’re looking for a simple answer to a VERY personal and complicated question. The HKSAR government owns and operates many excellent public hospitals with world-class medical care and there are also other very reputable (and some would say luxurious!) Hong Kong private hospitals.
At last count, there were 13 Hong Kong-born Sassy babies amongst the Sassy Mama team, born in a variety of Hong Kong hospitals, so it’s fair to say we’ve agonised over this exact question ourselves. So, rather than tell you which hospital delivery package we each chose, we thought it would be more helpful to give an unbiased, factual pros and cons list to help you choose between public and private hospitals when giving birth in Hong Kong.
Pros And Cons Of Hong Kong Public Hospitals
Pros And Cons Of Hong Kong Private Hospitals
How To Decide Whether To Go To A Public Or Private Hospital
Public Maternity Hospitals In Hong Kong
Private Maternity Hospitals In Hong Kong
Pregnant In Hong Kong: Public Hospital Births
- Emergency — In case of a medical emergency, Hong Kong public hospitals are the place to be.
- C-sections — The C-section rate is lower here than in private hospitals, which is great for women who prefer the natural birth path.
- Cost — It’s extremely cost-friendly to give birth in a public hospital (as long as you hold a Hong Kong ID card).
- Admittance — A public hospital cannot turn you down or away. They have to admit you and provide you with labour room facilities.
- Language Barrier — While doctors and nurses usually speak English, most other hospital staff speak only Cantonese and/or Mandarin.
- Long Wait Times — It is not uncommon for your prenatal check-ups to take a few hours.
- No Outside Assistance — Pre-COVID, partner assistance was limited in public hospitals. Partners were allowed when you were in active labour (and had been moved to the hospital delivery suite) and then only during visiting hours. During the pandemic, it has been well documented that partners weren’t been allowed in the delivery room. This is a situation that seems to be changing constantly, so it will be best to check in with your hospital in the months leading up to birth. Speaking to Mamas who have given birth in 2022, husbands have been allowed in the delivery room, but there haven’t been visitors allowed to the general ward. The latest press release is from July, 2022.
- Not Your Choice — Birth plans are not always respected.
- Pain Relief Is Not Guaranteed — This may come down to the availability of anaesthetists on the day.
- No Choice Of Doctor — You may see a different doctor at each check-up, and your baby will be delivered by the doctor on duty that day.
- No Privacy — Some hospital wards can have up to 10 people per room and some public hospitals are “teaching hospitals” so you can be assisted by students and have students observe your delivery.
- Lower rate of C-sections — This can be a problem for women who prefer to opt for C-sections.
- No International Food Options — Only basic Chinese food is served.
- Less Support — The ratio of patients to midwives is high so you will receive less personalised support for breastfeeding, nursing, etc.
Pregnant In Hong Kong — Private Hospital Births
- Support — The ratio of patients per midwife is very low which guarantees the patient a great deal of personalised support for breastfeeding, nursing, etc.
- Privacy — Private hospitals offer private, semi-private and shared rooms, typically with a maximum of four patients per room.
- Language — English is spoken in all private hospitals.
- Food — Private hospitals often offer international fare and sometimes even a menu to choose from.
- OB-GYN — The OB-GYN who followed you throughout your pregnancy will deliver your baby.
- Nursery — Staff encourage parents to be hands-on and the baby nursery is easy to access.
- Book Early — You have to book your delivery package and secure it with a down payment as soon as you find out you are pregnant.
- Emergency — Private hospitals are not as well-equipped to handle unexpected and/or unusual medical emergencies; in such cases, patients are transferred to the relevant public hospital.
- You Could Be Turned Away — Your spot is not guaranteed until the day you go into labour and you can be turned away (typically this would only happen in exceptional circumstances).
- Price Tag — All the pros of a private hospital come with a very high price tag.
- Bill Uncertainty — Costs can increase drastically when faced with an emergency.
- C-sections —There is a higher C-section rate at private hospitals (approximately 50% of all births compared to 25% at public hospitals).
How To Decide Whether To Go To A Public Or Private Hong Kong Hospital
It’s important to understand what your specific needs are. Sit down with your partner and make a list of “non-negotiables” you want, no matter what, for the duration of your maternity-ward stay. Then, you can proceed with your research: attending hospital tours, educating yourself by talking to an experienced midwife and/or getting the support and valuable information you need from a qualified baby planner. Inevitably, you will ask your friends and acquaintances about their experiences. It is helpful to remember however that, as kind as people can be, they often have biased information to offer and their thoughts/opinions will be based on their own personal needs and wants.
Once you’ve taken all these criteria into consideration, you can decide which type of hospital you want to go for: private or government-owned.
Public Maternity Hospitals In Hong Kong
If you opt for a public hospital birth, your hospital will be allocated based on your current address. The hospitals operate with a cluster system, where your primary antenatal care will typically take place at outpatient clinics known as MCHCs which feed into the local hosptial. The full breakdown can be found on the Family Health Service website. If you are unsure, call or visit your local MCHC for clarification. Note – you will need to provide proof of address at your first appointment and this will determine where your care takes place.
Queen Mary Hospital — Pok Fu Lam, Hong Kong Island
In-house obstetricians, anesthesiologists, and neonatologists are available 24/7. Antenatal and postnatal checkups and exercise classes are all done at the nearby Tsan Yuk Hospital. A private clinic for delivery at Queen Mary is also available for HKID card holders, given that the patient has a referral letter from a GP or OB-GYN. Queen Mary Hospital serves Mamas in Hong Kong Island West and South as well as Discovery Bay and Outlying Islands.
Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern Hospital — Chai Wan, Hong Kong Island
Queen Elizabeth Hospital — Public hospital for Kowloon residents
As the first hospital in Hong Kong to create the post of “Lactation Specialist” for breastfeeding counselling and classes, Queen Elizabeth is ranked high in baby-friendliness. Additionally, its Husband Accompanying Labour (HAL) scheme encourages husbands to stay with wives during delivery and to attend antenatal classes.
Princess Margaret Hospital — Public hospital in Lai Chi Kok
Princess Margaret serves the Kowloon West Cluster, for those in the Kwai Chung, Lai Chi Kok, Tung Chung, Tsuen Wan and Tsing Yi Districts, as well as Tung Chung town centre.
Read More: Where To Buy Nursing Bras In Hong Kong
Kwong Wah Hospital — Public hospital in Yau Ma Tei
Mamas delivering at Kwong Wah Hospital will have all their prenatal appointments at the hospital. More information about delivery services can be found here.
United Christian Hosptial — Public hospital in Lam Tin
Part of the Kowloon East Cluster of public hospitals, United Christian services pregnant women living across Kowloon East, including Kwun Tong and Tsueng Kwan O, but also parts of Sai Kung and Clearwater Bay.
Prince of Wales Hospital — Public hospital in Sha Tin
Prince of Wales Hospital has partnered with the Chinese University of Hong Kong to offer various prenatal examinations, specifically screening for Down Syndrome, SafeT21, and fetal morphology scans. For Mamas living in the Eastern New Territories, including some parts of Sai Kung this will be where you will deliver if you opt for a public hospital birth.
Tuen Mun Hospital — Public hospital covering the Western New Territories
With four wards, a 200-strong staff, and approximately 5,500 deliveries per year, the O&G Department at Tuen Mun is always bustling. Before discharging, post-partum patients may undergo healthcare education covering postnatal self-care, discharge advice and breastfeeding.
Hong Kong Private Maternity Hospitals
Gleneagles Hospital — Private hospital in Wong Chuk Hang
The newest private hospital in Hong Kong is quickly becoming a firm favourite for expecting mothers. With twin rooms as standard (as well as private room options), Gleneagles offers just that bit more privacy than some other hospitals. There are trained lactation consultants to help with breastfeeding. For that extra peace of mind, Gleneagles is also the first private hospital in Hong Kong to offer a NICU for babies requiring extra care in those early days.
Gleneagles Delivery Package: Two-night vaginal delivery package start at $20,500 (not including doctor’s fees), click here for full breakdown of costs
The Matilda International Hospital — Popular private hospital on The Peak
Sitting atop The Peak, it’s likely that you’ve come across someone singing the praises of the maternity ward at Matilda Hospital. Benefits like a one-to-one midwife to client ratio, on-demand epidurals and a vast multilingual selection of antenatal courses are just some of the many reasons why Matilda International has such an impressive reputation and loyal clientele. There is a range of delivery packages and room choices vary from four-person and twin-shared rooms to private rooms and VIP suites.
Matilda Hospital Maternity Package: Two-night vaginal delivery packages start at $21,900 (not including doctors’ fees). There are also total care packages that include your antenatal check-ups as well as delivery which start at $62,900, click here for full costs and maternity package calculator.
Sassy Mama Tip: Special capped-price Matilda Hospital Maternity Packages have been extended until 30, June 2023.
Hong Kong Adventist Hospital — Private hospital in Happy Valley
Due to its popularity, you’ll need to pay your deposit and book months in advance to secure your bed at Hong Kong Adventist. Obstetrics packages encompass normal vaginal deliveries and C-sections, both pre-booked and emergency. Select from standard, semi-private, or deluxe and private singles to accommodate your level of comfort. All food served is vegetarian (but Sassy Mama can vouch that it’s very tasty!) so if you’re craving something with a bit more meat you’ll need to order in.
Hong Kong Adventist Delivery Package: Two-night vaginal delivery packages start at $19,000 (not including doctors’ fees), click here for full breakdown of costs
Sassy Mama Tip: It’s important to note that there is some building renovations currently underway during the day at Hong Kong Adventist and you may experience some construction noise.
Tsuen Wan Adventist Hospital — New Territories private hospital
Having received formal accreditation from the Hong Kong College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists since 2000, the Obstetrics Unit at TWAH prides itself on its modernity and range of obstetric, prenatal and postnatal services. A prenatal care package here covers various routine lab tests, ultrasound scans and optional prenatal classes. Normal delivery or C-section packages both include blood screening, postnatal (or post-op for C-section) observations, take-home medication and postnatal classes. There’s also the option of 14 or 30-day post-partum care services.
Tsuen Wan Adventist Delivery Package: Two-night vaginal delivery packages start at $22,800 (not including doctors’ fees), click here for full breakdown of costs
CUHK Medical Centre — Modern private hospital in Sha Tin
Don’t let “Medical Centre” in the name fool you, this is indeed a lovely private hospital in Sha Tin boasting a modern and bright maternity ward. We love that this private birthing option promotes the use of drug-free pain relief options including that stunning bath as well as birthing balls, massage and TENS machines. Rest assured, the full range of pharmacological pain relief is also available.
CUHK Medical Centre Delivery Package: Three-night vaginal delivery packages start at $22,000 (not including doctors’ fees), click here for full breakdown of costs
Hong Kong Baptist Hospital — Affordable private hospital in Kowloon
Prenatal and postnatal checkups here are led by midwives, O&G specialists and advanced practice nurses. Prenatal diagnosis services offer Down’s Syndrome screening, high-resolution fetal scans, chromosome screenings and fetal DNA chip assessments. Choose from spontaneous birth or elective caesarian birth packages, both allowing your newborn to receive umbilical cord blood sampling and vaccinations.
Hong Kong Baptist Hospital Delivery Package: Three-night vaginal delivery packages start at $20,800 (not including doctors’ fees), click here for full breakdown of costs
Hong Kong Sanatorium Hospital — Happy Valley private hospital
C-section and normal birth packages are available, incorporating vaccines and vitamin injections for the baby. Choose between private and semi-private rooms to ensure the desired intimacy and comfort level of your labour experience – given that you book way in advance.
Hong Kong Sanatorium Delivery Package: Two-night vaginal delivery packages start at $22,300 (not including doctors’ fees), click here for full breakdown of costs, note there will be price changes from March 2023
Canossa Hospital (Caritas) — Catholic private hospital in Mid-levels
Facilities here include three labour rooms equipped with resuscitators, as well as separate nurseries for both normal and special care infants. Whether you opt for a vaginal delivery or a C-section, obstetrics packages guarantee prenatal, postnatal, and neonatal observation care and treatment. Included under these services are postnatal exercise classes led by qualified physiotherapists, breastfeeding and infant care courses.
Canossa Hospital Delivery Package: Two-night vaginal delivery packages start at $20,600 (not including doctors’ fees), click here for full breakdown of costs, note there will be price changes from March 2023
St. Paul’s Hospital — Affordable private hospital delivery packages
Known for offering one of the most affordable private maternity packages in Hong Kong, St. Paul’s Hospital guarantees luxuries that save you money.
St Paul’s Hospital Delivery Package: Two-night vaginal delivery packages start at $18,000 (not including doctors’ fees), click here for full breakdown of costs,
Union Hospital — New Territories private hospital
Maternity packages, which are either C-section or spontaneous vaginal delivery, include initial immunisations, newborn hearing screenings and routine cord blood screenings. Choose from standard, twin or private suites, which boast five-star amenities – maximising peace and comfort upon the arrival of your newborn. A good option for Sai Kung and New Territories Mama-to-be who are looking for a private hospital closer to home.
Union Hospital Delivery Package: Two-night vaginal delivery packages start at $22,500 (not including doctors’ fees), click here for full breakdown of costs
St. Teresa’s Hospital — Large Catholic private hospital
The Obstetrics & Gynaecology Department at St. Teresa’s Hospital provides a full range of delivery and neonatal services. Choose from three to six bed standard rooms, two-bed semi-private rooms as well as private room options.
St. Teresa’s Hospital Delivery Package: Two-night vaginal delivery packages start at $18,800 (not including doctors’ fees), click here for full breakdown of costs
Read more: How To Choose Your Obstetrician In Hong Kong
Editor’s Note: “Pregnant In Hong Kong: Delivery Packages In Public And Private Hospitals” was originally published in September 2016 and updated by most recently by Jess Mizzi in October 2022.