The Hong Kong healthcare system operates on a dual-track basis, with public and private sectors that complement each other. Hong Kong operates 42 public hospitals and 11 private hospitals. Public hospitals in Hong Kong are managed and operated by the Hospital Authority (HA), a statutory body monitored by the Secretary for Food and Health of the Hong Kong Government. Meanwhile the private hospitals are all accredited by international accreditation bodies.
To receive inexpensive care from public hospitals, a patient must generally be a Hong Kong resident. With high standards of medical practice, the public sector acts as a safety net for those who cannot afford private services, since the government subsidizes more than 80% of the cost. This has led to a significant imbalance between the public and private systems and an inefficiency to the patients, as the public hospitals provide around 88% of inpatient services, which has resulted in weeks of waiting times for patients.
Private health care is optional and is usually paid for by private health insurance. The private system doesn’t suffer from the waiting times of the public sector and offers more luxurious options such as better rooms and a better customer experience. However private healthcare is much more expensive, and the pricing of services is not very transparent.
From 2019, the Voluntary Health Insurance Scheme (VHIS) will provide tax deductions for private medical care, to encourage wealthier residents to utilize private medicine and reduce the burden on the public system.
7.4 million(2017, World Bank)
$341 billion(2017, World Bank, USD)
- Healthcare Spending:
$20.8 billion(2017, Brocair estimate, USD)
- Healthcare Spending as % of GDP:
6.1%(2015/2016, Food and Health Bureau of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region)
- Annual Healthcare Spending Per Capita:
$2,817(2017, Brocair estimate, USD)