Wednesday, May 25, 2011

China's one child rule

So I learned quite a bit about China's one child rule while in Hong Kong.  As mentioned before (HK observations) HK was a British territory and now is a republic of China.

I am not trying to be insensitive or trying to start chaos here, but just will express the views of some HK people I met.

I had the opportunity to meet with a HK neonatologist who (or is it whom) has a lot of authority and is quite vocal in the local media.  He gave us his opinions on the one child rule and how it impacts HK.

The rule was started to control China's population, which apparently it really hasn't done too well.  People that want more than one child just go elsewhere to have the baby.  But have to hide the pregnancy while in China.  And they place they are flocking to - HK.  HK births went from 8,000/year to 80,000 year in just 3 or 4 years.  And they don't have the infrastructure to deal with the influx.  There are only 100 NICU beds in all of HK.  And if about 10% of the population is born preterm - that means about 8,000 admissions to those 100 NICU beds each year.  Yeah - crazy.  They also don't have the OB staff to deal with all the deliveries.  For the right price- Chinese can deliver in the HK private hospitals as long as they can document establishing care before 23 weeks (or something like that) - which means just 1 visit to OB.  Then they can deliver in HK.  So apparently the better care is at the public hospitals which aren't as crowded.

And the reason why HK?  So the babies can be HK citizens instead of Chinese.  And have a HK passport (we were told this numerous times).  Chinese people need visas to travel almost anywhere.  But because HK was British- means they can go to numerous places with just a passport (like all of Europe and US) instead of a visa.  And the kids get free health care and education until age 18.  But the Chinese parents won't have to pay HK taxes or anything else.

And if you have a second child in China?  The penalty is 6x your annual income.  And goes up from there if you have a third or fourth child.  And if you work for the government - you lose your job.

And then I came back to the land of tons of babies.  Where some early 20 year olds already have 5 kids.

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