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Costs soar in HK for mainland moms

By  Zheng Xin and Kahon Chan (China Daily)

08:15, May 22, 2012

Fees for expectant mainland mothers who want to give birth in Hong Kong have more than doubled this past month in anticipation of next year's hospital ban on nonresidents.

Maternity clinics in the special administrative region will be banned from accepting nonresidents in 2013, a move aimed at freeing up services for Hong Kong residents.

Agencies and care centers that help mainland mothers-to-be give birth in Hong Kong have raised fees to about 250,000 yuan ($39,500), roughly 150,000 yuan more than in April.

Yet despite the increase, competition for places is fierce.

"Few hospitals in Hong Kong have vacancies for expectant mothers from the mainland, and it's very hard to get a bed through normal procedures," said Guan, an agency consultant who spoke on condition of anonymity.

His employer, Jingjing Information Consultancy in Shenzhen, Guangdong province, which borders on Hong Kong, provides assistance to pregnant women from the mainland hoping to give birth in Hong Kong.

The company has recently raised its fees from 100,000 yuan to 250,000 yuan, which includes 20,000 yuan for the agency, 60,000 yuan for medical expenses and 170,000 as a "quota fee".

"The few spots that we win, including at the Baptist Hospital, come through cooperation over a long period with doctors in Hong Kong," Guan said.

However, when contacted by China Daily, a spokeswoman for the hospital denied any link with Jingjing Information Consultancy.

"We're not connected to any such companies from the mainland," said Ching Ting-kong, from the hospital's public relations department.

"Pregnant women from the mainland have to come to our hospital in person for the certificate of delivery appointment and no substitute by any relative or company is allowed," she added.

The hospital is already fully booked up for this year, Ching said.

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