Pregnant mainlanders are crossing HK’s border in private vans

Immigration officials say pregnant mainlanders seeking to give birth in Hong Kong are increasingly crossing the border in private vans in a bid to evade the city’s clampdown on emergency room deliveries. The Hospital Authority says the number of pregnant mainland women who turned up at local emergency wards to give birth without a booking increased by more than a double than last year. The increase is followed by the government’s decision to cap the number of non-permanent residents giving birth at local hospitals due to the strain on services. According to the Mainland-Hong Kong Families Rights Association, at least 40 pregnant mainlanders are now staying illegally in Hong Kong, waiting to give birth in a public hospital. These pregnant mainlanders are hiding in Hong Kong, waiting to rush into a public hospital at the last minute so that their babies can be Hong Kong residents.

In response, the government declared yesterday that pregnant mainlanders who wish to enter Hong Kong must first book a bed at a local hospital. Those without a booking will now cost $5,000 in advance and they could be turned away at the border. The tough stand is a response to the strain the mainland baby boom has put on Hong Kong hospitals. But it also reflects the political pressure that public anger has put on the local government. It seems like the government doesn’t have a clue how to solve the problem. The problem is that it has to do with the mainland, and HK government doesn’t have a lot of bargaining power. So now it will cost mainlanders at least $5,000 to have a child here. Hmm…still not a bad investment.