Mainland mothers who have given birth in Hong Kong will be asked to take part in an 'exit poll' when they apply for a birth certificate for their children. The government is eager to know whether these children with the right of abode will be educated in Hong Kong. Last year, 57,100 babies were born in Hong Kong - 19,538 to mainland mothers. Officials are concerned these children could put pressure on the city's education and health-care systems. The Hospital Authority last week approved plans to increase the medical fees paid by mainland mothers, to reduce the influx and relieve the pressure on Hong Kong's obstetric wards. The authority's head of corporate communications, Poon Kai-tik, yesterday said more women, locals and mainlanders, might give birth next year because the coming Lunar New Year was the Year of the Golden Pig in the Chinese calendar - a lucky year. 'This can further increase the pressure on medical staff. Therefore, we will launch measures to recruit and train more midwives, expanding the manpower in the long term,' he said. The authorities are designing a questionnaire to help understand how and why mainland mothers choose to give birth in Hong Kong and, most importantly, their future plans. A government source said: 'It is difficult to interview the mothers while they are in hospital, as they are scattered around the city. 'The birth registry should be a good location to draw most of the target respondents because they have to get birth certificates for the children.' Question to be asked include their personal background, why they decided to give birth in Hong Kong, whether they will do so again and whether their children will be educated here. The survey is part of a series of planned studies on population issues.