The latest statistics issued by the Hospital Authority (HA) have revealed that 98 mainland women gave birth at the last minute at accident and emergency departments in public hospitals in 2015.

Responding to media enquiries on the matter, the Authority said: “The HA has all along been closely monitoring the situation of non-local mothers going to accident and emergency departments at the last minute for delivery.”

Accident and Emergency Department of Caritas Medical Centre. Photo: Wikicommons.

In December 2015, there were 19 cases of non-local women giving birth at public hospital A&Es, three of which were booked cases in private hospitals. For the remaining 16 non-local mothers without prior booking, seven were from the mainland and nine were not.

There were 254 cases in total for the year. These included 98 mainland women and 110 non-mainland women delivering without a booking, and 46 with bookings at private hospitals.

The figures. Photo: Hospital Authority.

The HA spokesperson reiterated that public hospitals have ceased to accept delivery booking for non-local women since April 2012. The HA also stressed to non-local expectant mothers that it is high-risk behaviour to rush to A&Es at the last minute for delivery, as doing so poses risks to both the mother and the baby.

In 2014, there were 378 cases of non-local mothers going to public A&Es at the last minute for delivery. In 2013, there were 367 such cases.

Kris Cheng

Kris Cheng is a Hong Kong journalist with an interest in local politics. His work has been featured in Washington Post, Public Radio International, Hong Kong Economic Times and others. He has a BSSc in Sociology from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Kris is HKFP's Editorial Director.