Hong Kong to Limit Birth Quota for Mainland Chinese Mothers
Many mainland Chinese women are opting to give birth in Hong Kong so their children can obtain permanent residency there. But Hong Kong residents complain its affecting the level of service and care they receive in local hospitals. Now, Hong Kong health authorities are limiting the number of mainland women who can give birth there.
Last year 44,000 mainland women had babies in Hong Kong, a quarter of them in public hospitals, according to official data. The overall quota has been lowered to 35,000 this year, and according to the Secretary for Food and Health, York Chow Yat-ngok, the number will be cut again next year.
[York Chow Yat-ngok, Hong Kong Secretary for Food and Health]:
“We plan to accept no more than 3,000 in our public system next year, or even less than this. We also haven’t ruled out that, if more and more mainland women are registering to give birth here, we will stop accepting them altogher.”
While the quota cut proposed by Hong Kong authorities have been welcomed, it’s also been criticized for unfairly leaving out a group of mainland women – those married to Hong Kong residents. On Tuesday, a legislative Council health panel voted unanimously for a motion urging the government to allow these women access to the same birthing services as local women.
[Audrey EU Yuet-mee, Legislative Council Member]:
“If their husbands are Hong Kong men, they should be able to give birth here. Because regardless of where they’re from, Hong Kong men’s wives should be able to apply to give birth here, but right now because they are mainlanders, there are delays.”
Secretary York Chow Yat-ngok says the limitations targets all mainland women because it’s difficult to verify their marrital status when they cross the border into Hong Kong.