Beijing is very concerned about the problem of mainland women coming to Hong Kong to give birth, a top central government official said yesterday. The issue should be resolved without blocking the special administrative region's development, said Chen Xiaohong , vice-minister at the Ministry of Health. Mr Chen also said the central government would review whether they should relax the requirements for Hong Kong doctors working on the mainland. He said the central authorities were looking into how to address the problem of mainland women giving birth while visiting Hong Kong, which has placed a huge drain on the city's health-care system. 'Everybody is very concerned about this problem. I believe Hong Kong and the relevant mainland authorities will hold detailed discussions. We have to find appropriate measures to resolve the problem.' Mr Chen was speaking after a meeting with Hong Kong deputies to the National People's Congress. 'We place great importance on this matter. We have to maintain Hong Kong's development and continue exchanges between the two sides,' he added. In an attempt to help relieve the drain on resources posed by mainlanders giving birth in Hong Kong, in January the Hospital Authority raised the cost of a three-day obstetric package for non-local women from HK$20,000 to HK$39,000 for those who have had antenatal checks in the city, and HK$48,000 for those who have not. Medics have also been introduced at border checkpoints to monitor women. During the meeting, Mr Chen also promised the central government would review whether the present complicated and expensive application procedures for Hong Kong doctors to work on the mainland could be relaxed, NPC deputy Maria Tam Wai-chu said. Yesterday's meeting was the last in a series of small-group discussions between the Hong Kong delegation and Beijing officials before the annual NPC session ends today. 'We have already received the response we expected, as central government officials have promised to reflect our views to higher levels. As NPC deputies, we have fulfilled our duties to monitor the government,' Ms Tam said.