Health chief eyes treatment for rich visitors

by Beatrice Siu ,  The Standard | 2009-04-08

Hong Kong cannot compete with neighboring countries for medical tourism but it could become a medical specialist center, the health chief said yesterday.

Secretary for Food and Health York Chow Yat-ngok said neighboring cities were better placed to attract medical tourists because of cheaper labor and land costs.

However, he told a radio program, because of its high service quality and the professional ethics of its medical workers, Hong Kong could focus on high-value services in specialist areas such as cardiology and more complicated treatments.

Chow said the idea of Hong Kong becoming a "medical specialist center" was included in the April 3 report of the Task Force on Economic Challenges.

"Hong Kong is not as competitive as other countries in terms of check-up services. But our advanced services, professional level and the spirit of our medical workers can boost the confidence of foreigners in our medical system," he said.