English 中文网 漫画网 爱新闻iNews 翻译论坛
当前位置: Language Tips> 天天读报> 每日播报

Mainland women flood Hong Kong to give birth

[ 2009-10-22 11:34]     字号 [] [] []  
免费订阅30天China Daily双语新闻手机报:移动用户编辑短信CD至106580009009


"Shenzhen mom dies during childbirth in a Hong Kong hospital!" screams a newspaper headline. But if this was intended as a warning to mainland women planning to have their children in the special administration region, it has fallen on deaf ears.

Wang Fengxia died on Oct 10 of amniotic fluid embolism, a rare allergic reaction during childbirth. Her family has raised questions about possible malpractice.

However, pregnant women from the mainland are still pouring into the region, even after the local government banned public hospitals from offering obstetric services to mainlanders until the end of the year. The government has imposed the ban citing the upcoming peak childbirth season and the necessity to accommodate local women.

This only served to divert mainlanders to the more expensive private hospitals. At the popular Hong Kong Baptist Hospital and Union Hospital, it is already too late to book a bed for due dates earlier than next March.

Delivering a baby in Hong Kong has become increasingly popular among mainlanders. Figures from Hong Kong's Hospital Authority show that the number of mainland women giving birth in Hong Kong has risen from 620 in 2001 to 25,000 in 2008.

Some mainlanders are having babies in the region in the belief that fines for breaking the one-child policy might be waived if the baby is delivered in Hong Kong. Fines can be three to five times a parent's annual income.

"We already have a girl, but our tradition prefers boys. So we tried our luck in Hong Kong," said Ding Guizhen, from Chaozhou of Guangdong province. She gave birth to a boy in a private Hong Kong hospital two years ago.

Another big reason for giving birth in the region is the benefits. According to Hong Kong law, children born in the region automatically become permanent residents. This carries with it free education, welfare payments in Hong Kong and visa-free travel to more than 100 countries in the world.

Hong Kong's Hospital Authority has imposed charges of at least HK$39,000 ($5,000) for each non-resident birth in public hospitals since 2007, but the services are almost free for Hong Kong residents.

Private hospitals charge HK$50,000 for natural labor and HK$60,000 for Cesarean delivery.

(英语点津 Helen 编辑)

Mainland women flood Hong Kong to give birth

About the broadcaster:

Mainland women flood Hong Kong to give birth

Nancy Matos is a foreign expert at China Daily Website. Born and raised in Vancouver, Canada, Nancy is a graduate of the Broadcast Journalism and Media program at the British Columbia Institute of Technology. Her journalism career in broadcast and print has taken her around the world from New York to Portugal and now Beijing. Nancy is happy to make the move to China and join the China Daily team.