Health-check tour packages offered to mainland visitors

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 18 October, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 18 October, 2007, 12:00am

The Union Hospital and Dragonair Holidays have jointly launched health check-plus-sightseeing packages for the first time to attract medical tourists from 10 mainland cities.

The four- or five-day packages cost between 6,760 and 11,860 yuan and include air tickets, hotel accommodation, health checks and a half-day sightseeing tour.

Two health-check plans are offered. Plan A is a four-day package and includes basic tests such as a complete blood count, lipid screening, liver function and kidney function tests, chest X-ray and electrocardiogram.

Plan B for a five-day package has additional tests such as hepatitis B screening, body mass index analysis, pap smear and mammogram for women, and prostate test for men.

The health check would take up one morning on the second day of their visit. Doctors would brief the tourists about their test results on the last morning before they fly home.

Tourists have to enrol at least two weeks before the health checks. They will also have to fill out a questionnaire before the trip so that the hospital can advise them if any additional tests are needed.

Hospital medical director Anthony Lee Kai-yiu admitted that the prices of the packages were two to three times higher than mainland health-check plans. 'We hope to attract the mainlanders by our quality services. Also, they can go sightseeing and shopping,' he said.

The packages were launched on the mainland late last month. Dr Lee said they had received a number of inquiries but no confirmed bookings.

He stressed that the packages were still in a trial stage, and the hospital would review the response from tourists and tour agents early next year to see how to make the packages more attractive. 'We do not rule out the possibility that we may lower the prices in future to even below the cost-recovering level, so that we can first establish the reputation of the hospital on the mainland and attract more tourists,' Dr Lee said.

He added that if the tourists needed further tests or operations after the health checks, the airline would extend their flight tickets and hospital staff would help them apply for longer visas.

Mainlanders now account for about 3 per cent of inpatients at the Sha Tin hospital, most of whom come to give birth or have surgery.

The packages are available in Beijing, Shanghai, Changsha , Hangzhou , Nanjing , Ningbo , Wuhan , Qingdao , Dalian and Shenyang .