28Jan

A Checklist for Your Kid’s Health

What are the questions you should be asking yourself when it comes to your child’s health? These important considerations should be your priority to maintain a happy, healthy child.

Annual Physical from Birth to Adolescence

This usually involves looking at growth parameters such as weight, height and blood pressure and then evaluating various systems like the ears, nose and throat, teeth, chest, heart, abdomen, skin and neurological system.

The annual physical also helps parents keep track of vaccines that need to be administered at specific schedules. You might also consider adding age-apt blood testing to check for organ issues or vitamin deficiencies.

There are health insurance plans that cover annual physical exams for kids.

Allergy Tests

Allergies should be a priority for parents. The best way to avoid anaphylactic attacks is to detect allergies at an early age.  Tests can be done as early as 6 months but best to have your pediatrician recommend timings of these tests to ensure safe testing.

Vaccines

It’s ideal for expat families to have mandatory vaccines done before they leave their country. Hong Kong is well equipped with all the vaccines required for kids but if you’re moving to other Asian countries that may not have all the resources to provide mandatory vaccines, then we recommend having a checklist of all the shots that need to be administered to inquire about availability.

The decision of which diseases to be included depends partly on the prevalence, or how common, a particular disease is in that locality,” he says. In Hong Kong, as recommended by the Department of Health, children from birth to 11 years of age should receive vaccinations against 10 diseases.

Sleeping Habits

A recent study showed that lack of sleep (below 11 hours) increases your child’s risk of obesity, as the likelihood of a child becoming overweight lowered by 8.9% for each additional hour of sleep they get. Poor sleep can interfere with a child’s school performance, ability to focus and behaviour and can cause or mistakenly be diagnosed as Attention Deficit Disorder.

Lack of sleep is just due to getting off to sleep too late and erratic sleep habits. Enforce early bedtimes and ban TV, mobiles and computers in bedrooms at night. Instead encourage a wind-down period with story time or light music.

22Jan

How to Open A Startup Business in Hong Kong

Hong Kong is currently number 8 of the top 10 cities for startup businesses according to Forbes.  There is a rapid globalization of the startup culture in Hong Kong.  Technology,  education,  healthcare  and clean energy startups have been emerging throughout the city since 2014. Hong Kong has a lot to offer expats who wish to establish their own small business.

Opening a business in Hong Kong is easier than other Asian countries. This is because the government has a quick, easy and affordable process that helps expats with their startups. All the information you need can be found here and most of the processes can also be done remotely. There are also Hong Kong formation companies you can hire to take care of the whole process for you which is convenient if you have limited time and patience for these kinds of things.

There are 5 basic needs for a Hong Kong startup:

workspace

Getting a virtual office is the quickest and cheapest way to get a business address in Hong Kong.  A virtual office means you don’t need  to rent out an actual work space but rather you will subscribe to the services of a business address, phone and fax numbers and even a multi-lingual staff to answer your calls. This is quite convenient for businesses who are only starting out with the home office. The cost of a virtual office is about 300 to 400 USD a year. For startups who need to lease a space, there are numerous listings you can find here:Hong Kong Offices for Leasebanking

Currently, HSBC holds the  majority of small and big businesses as well as personal banking in Hong Kong. Other international banks you can try are Citibank, Standard Chartered, Lloyds Bank and Wells Fargo. The challenge for expats may be opening an account which requires you to be in Hong Kong in person. Transfers may be done electronically.visa

If you are the sole owner or own a majority of the business, you will not be eligible for a work visa. Otherwise, you can stay with a simple tourist visa and extend it for another 90 days by going over the border to China and making a trip back. There is also a type of visa called business investment visa which is for expat business owners who wish to open shop in the country. The most important documentary requirement to submit in order to apply and qualify for a business investment visa is a 2-year business plan stating the nature of the business, market analysis, market positioning, business direction, sales targets, product marketing strategy, etc. You will also need to submit a projection of profit and loss, cash flow statement and balance sheet to prove your business’ feasibility. Read the complete guide here: Business Investment Visa Info

If you’re bringing your family to Hong Kong, the business investment visa will allow you and your family to stay for 12 months after which, the government will check in to see your progress as an entrepreneur.insurance

Public Liability Insurance is a prerequisite for any startup in Hong Kong. This insurance protects the holder from claims by third parties against negligence, death, injury, loss and damage of property, and economic or financial loss.

If you’re hiring a small staff, you will also be required to have Employee Compensation Insurance. According to section 40 of The Employees’ Compensation Ordinance, no employer shall hire any employee unless there is in force a policy of insurance to cover their liabilities both under the Ordinance and at common law for injuries at work in respect of all their employees, irrespective of the length of employment contract or working hours, full-time or part-time employment. You can pay a fine of up to $100,000 and 2 years in jail if you fail to comply.

For other information on Business Insurance, read our blog here: Business Insurance in HK

network

Creating professional relationships and business networks is also one of the easiest ventures in Hong Kong because of the country’s thriving consumer culture. There are  numerous events for expats where you can meet fellow entrepreneurs and executives for expanding your contacts and your company. Online networking has also made this process a lot easier.  LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter have served as lucrative platforms for getting your business off the ground.

For more information on setting up your business in HK, refer to InvestHK a government body dedicated to helping businesses within the country as well as guide them to move in Hong Kong.

 

14Jan

Expat Guide: Vaccines for Kids in Hong Kong

For expat families, new challenges such as moving and adjusting to another country are already on top of old ones, one of which is keeping up with your kids’ vaccinations. If you’re a family with more than two kids, it can be quite the struggle to stay on top of who has had which vaccination and when they are due the next. Having the right healthcare practitioner to seek professional advice and support from can make all the difference.

vaccination when traveling

Family vacations are great fun but vaccinations are once again a needed precaution or requirement before travel to another country. Research on the recommended vaccinations for your child and for a particular destination, and getting the injections one to two weeks before travel are two very important things to consider.

As for diseases one can’t vaccinate against, such as malaria and dengue, preventative measures such as anti-malaria tablets, insect repellent, and wearing protective clothing should be prepared for as well.

Mandatory Vaccinations

One may be aware of the ongoing argument of whether or not to vaccinate a child and it is very important to be on the side of medical professionals when it comes to mandatory vaccinations. Doctors can’t stress enough the importance of vaccinating and the claims that they cause autism are proven to be unsubstantiated. If one isn’t fully aware of how important vaccinations are, refusing to do so is likely to have consequences of epidemic proportions. One example is last year’s measles outbreak that started in Disneyland in California and spread to Washington and Colorado, and has since been proven to be the effect of low vaccination rates.

There is also currently a worldwide whooping cough (pertussis) epidemic, the worst in the last 70 years. Small babies who have not received their vaccinations are most vulnerable to the disease. However, ensuring that their pertussis vaccinations are up to date can greatly boost their chances of protection.

With the help of the right healthcare plan, preparing a child’s vaccinations doesn’t have to be a daunting task for any parent.

Village Insurance Direct helps expats i Hong Kong find comprehensive health insurance that cover the whole family. Ask us about it today.

 

13Jan

Types of Medical Charges for Hong Kong Residents

There are three types of charges in Hong Kong hospitals based on whether it is for public or private health care. Your status as a resident is also a factor for the fees you should expect for medical services from hospitals.

You are required to have an Identification Card when living for an extended period of time in the country. This card entitles you to access the country’s public health facilities among other government services. Hospitals will determine the amount of fees and charges to issue patients based on two categories: (1) Eligible and (2) Non-eligible.

To be considered Eligible you should be:

  • Holders of Hong Kong Identification Card issued under the Registration of Persons Ordinance, except those who obtained their Hong Kong Identity Card by virtue of a previous permission to land or remain in Hong Kong granted to them and such permission has expired or ceased to be valid;
  • Children who are Hong Kong residents and under 11 years of age; or
  • Other persons approved by the Chief Executive of the Hospital Authority.

Any expat or resident that do not fulfill the abovementioned requirements are automatically considered Non-eligible.

Hospital fees and charges under public and private healthcare facilities will also depend on your eligibility. There are three types of charges in Hong Kong hospitals.

The rates below are based from information from the Hospital Authority.

Public Charge for Eligible Persons
Service Fees
Accident & Emergency $100 per attendance
In-patient (general acute beds) $50 admission fee, plus $100 per day
In-patient (convalescent, rehabilitation, infirmary & psychiatric beds) $68 per day
Specialist out-patient (including allied health services) $100 for the 1st attendance, $60 per subsequent attendance, $10 per drug item
General out-patient $45 per attendance
Geriatric, Psychiatric & Rehabilitation day hospital $55 per attendance

 

Public Charge for Non-eligible Persons
Service Fees
Accident & Emergency $990 per attendance
In-patient (general hospitals) $4,680 per day 
In-patient (psychiatric hospitals) $1,940 per day 
Intensive care ward/unit $23,000 per day
High dependency ward/unit $12,000 per day
Nursery $1,110 per day
      Obstetric care $39,000 – $90,000 (1-2 nights)
Specialist out-patient (including allied health services) $1,110 per attendance
Day procedure and treatment at Clinical Oncology Clinic $800 per attendance
General out-patient $385 per attendance

Here is a list of public hospitals in Hong Kong.

Private Charges
Service Fees
In-patient (acute hospitals)

  • 1st class
  • 2nd class
  • $5,640 per day 
  • $3,760 per day 
In-patient (other hospitals)

  • 1st class
  • 2nd class
  • $5,610 per day 
  • $3,740 per day 
Intensive care ward/unit $14,600 per day 
Nursery $925 per day 
In-patient consultation (per specialty) $680 – $2,780 per visit
Out-patient consultation (per specialty)

  • Initial consultation
  • Subsequent follow up consultation
  • $680 – $2,160 per attendance
  • $555 – $1,420 per attendance

Here is a list of private hospitals in Hong Kong.

As one you can see health care is expensive in Hong Kong. This is why we at Village Insurance Direct recommend expats to get Health Insurance for more comprehensive care from a private health facility, minus the worry of soaring fees and charges. While public hospitals are equipped to manage numerous emergency situations having that peace of mind at times of unforeseen circumstances is one you must aim for when in a foreign country. This is especially a concern for expats with families.