Jan 04, 2012
Mainland women other than those with Hong Kong husbands should be banned from giving birth in the city's public hospitals, chief executive hopeful Leung Chun-ying says.
In a population policy platform to be unveiled today, the former Executive Council convenor says mainland women who give birth in public hospitals use medical and other social resources without making sufficient contributions in return.
He proposes mainland wives of Hong Kong men still be allowed to book deliveries in public hospitals, but subject to a quota system.
Mainland mothers giving birth in public hospitals have to pay about HK$40,000 for the privilege. Local women pay just HK$100 a day.
The policy paper takes a populist stance against the practice of expectant mainland women coming over the border to give birth.
Leung says they could still pay private hospitals for obstetric services, subject to a quota.
He says that, if elected, he would bring in the changes next year.
"These mainland women do not help solve the problem of our ageing population," Leung's paper says. "While their babies have permanent right of abode, we do not know when they will come to live in Hong Kong, adding a great uncertainty to our planning and quality assurance for such social services as education, housing and health care."
The Post reported yesterday that the number of emergency births involving mainland mothers almost tripled last year.
Of 10,125 mainland women who gave birth in public hospitals up to November, 1,453 did so in emergency wards because they had not made prior bookings and would not have been admitted otherwise.
The Hospital Authority has warned such births place an enormous strain on public hospital resources.
The government has now capped bookings for mainland women to give birth at public and private hospitals at 34,400 a year and has asked mainland authorities to help stop pregnant women without hospital bookings entering Hong Kong. (SCMP)