Hospital fee rises to hit mainlanders

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 27 November, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 27 November, 2012, 3:25am

Non-locals will have to pay more to use public hospitals next year after the Hospital Authority approved the price rises.

Those admitted to emergency wards will have to pay HK$990, up HK$420 from the current HK$570. The charge for specialist outpatient services will rise from HK$700 to HK$1,110. A bed on a general ward will rise from HK$3,300 a day to HK$4,680.

These and other charges, mostly affecting mainlanders, are projected to boost revenue by HK$133 million a year.

Hong Kong residents will continue to pay the current fees, which for emergency admissions is HK$100.

A Hospital Authority spokesman said the board endorsed the adjustments at a meeting yesterday. The prices are expected to be effective from April 1.

This is the government's second move to boost public medical levies in a year amid a public outcry against mainland visitors accused of taking away medical resources from locals.

Since May, non-eligible mothers, mostly mainlanders, have been charged HK$90,000, up from HK48,000, for giving birth in emergency rooms at public hospitals without a reservation.

The board also endorsed a rise in charges for private services in public medical institutions that will apply to both locals and non-locals and is expected to become effective from the same date.