Hong Kong residents seek cheap dental care in Shenzhen

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The grass is greener: Under increasing economic pressure, Hong Kong residents seek dental care elsewhere

Shenzhen, China, is an increasingly popular destination for Hong Kong residents seeking affordable dental care. (Image: daizuoxin/Shutterstock)

Mon. 17. June 2024


HONG KONG: Facing some of the highest private healthcare costs in the world, due to high labour costs, limited public dental services and restricted insurance coverage, residents of Hong Kong have increasingly turned to cities in mainland China, particularly Shenzhen, for their dental care needs. A centre of both the domestic and global dental industry, the bordering Shenzhen offers the people of Hong Kong affordable, high-quality and easily accessible dental care at the fraction of the cost.

As the wider Chinese population has gained increasing awareness about the importance of oral health in recent years, the domestic dental industry has rapidly expanded to meet increased demand. Consequently, a range of well-equipped and affordable dental clinics and hospitals have sprung up across China, especially in Shenzhen. Citing a report by the Chinese Stomatological Association, a local Shenzhen dental laboratory has explained how the city is also a centrally important manufacturing hub for the global denture market, up to 60% of domestic production for export being situated in the area. These factors have combined to make Shenzhen a highly important centre of the dental world and, for Hong Kong residents, an easy choice, being only 30 kilometres from Hong Kong, for obtaining dental care at a reasonable price.

The number of Hong Kong residents seeking care in Shenzhen is significant. For example, the South China Morning Post reported that Hong Kong residents last year accounted for around 10,000 visits a month to C-MER Eye Care Holdings’ dental hospital and 12 dental clinics in Shenzhen, comprising around 50% of its overall client intake. The same article explored the financial considerations of the Hong Kong residents undertaking these dental trips. One elderly woman described how a treatment for which she would have had to have waited three weeks and that would have cost HK$8,000 (€943)* was performed immediately in a Shenzhen hospital without an appointment for 1,000 yuan (€127). In light of such significant differences in cost, accessibility and efficiency, Hong Kong residents travelling to mainland Chinese cities for dental care is entirely understandable and trend that is therefore likely to continue in years to come.

Editorial note:

*Calculated on the OANDA platform on 2 June 2024.

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