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HK hospitals reopen for mainland moms

MOTHERS-TO-BE in Chinese mainland can again choose to deliver their babies at public hospitals in Hong Kong after a temporary ban expired on New Year's Day, today's Guangzhou Daily reported.

The Hong Kong Hospital Authority issued the three-month ban last October to cope with a baby boom in the special administrative region.

As a result, mainlanders have flocked to Hong Kong's private hospitals to give birth. Some, including Hong Kong Baptist Hospital and Union Hospital, said their maternity beds have been booked until March, according to previous media reports.

Hong Hong's public hospitals introduced charges for mainlanders in 2005 after a boom in maternity services for moms from neighboring Guangdong Province.

The number of Chinese children born in Hong Kong increased 40-fold from 620 in 2001 to 25,000 in 2008, the hospital authority said.

Maternity services in public Hong Kong hospitals cost a minimum of HK$39,000 (US$5,000).


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