Other Health Services
Dental and Optical Care
Dental and optical care standards in Hong Kong are very competitive.
The Hong Kong Dental Association website maintains a searchable directory of registered dentists in Hong Kong.
Between the hours of 6pm and 11pm, Hong Kong Sanatorium & Hospital (tel: 2572 0211) offers emergency service for patients with urgent dental and oral conditions.
With so many optometrists practicing in Hong Kong, it can be a challenge to find the right one, especially as most do speak English as well as Chinese. Many people will ask their friends and family for referrals, or will otherwise consult a reputable medical association for a reliable contact. The HK Society of Professional Optometrists (HKSPO) has an extensive referral list on its website, complete with practice addresses and telephone numbers.
Opticians prescribing vision correcting eyeglasses and contact lenses can be found in most of Hong Kong’s larger and more reputable optical shops. These places also offer free vision checks with the purchase of glasses or contact lenses. The following optical shops are well established and have branches all over the territory.
High stress levels and anxiety are commonly experienced by those living in fast-paced cities like Hong Kong.
The local education system, notorious for the pressure it places on students from a young age, and other social factors such as the rising costs of living and housing, all contribute to the stresses and strains faced by people living here. Although the understanding and support of mental health issues in Hong Kong still has a ways to go, it has become a hot topic that more people have started paying attention to, with the Hong Kong government launching several high-profile campaigns to build awareness in recent years.
The Mental Health Association of Hong Kong is a good resource for mental-health-related information and services in the city.
The Shall We Talk campaign was launched by the government’s Advisory Committee on Mental Health in 2020 to educate the public on mental health issues. The website lists many mental health resources in the SAR.
MindHK is a registered charity founded by two Hong Kong doctors with the goal of destigmatizing mental health issues and helping people to get the care they need. Their website has a long list of resources and tips, as well as a bilingual virtual assistant that can answer specific questions.
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Naturopathy and Alternative Medicine
TCM has been used for the prevention and treatment of diseases and for health maintenance for thousands of years; natural and holistic treatments and therapies are gaining in popularity.
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)
TCM encompasses a total lifestyle that integrates many aspects. The most common applications of TCM include acupuncture, massage and tui na. Herbal remedies are also given. The end goal for TCM is not necessarily to cure the illness but to get the individual to the point where they can live with it or resist it.
The 1999 Chinese Medicine Ordinance set out a statutory framework for regulating traditional Chinese medicine. Since then, the Hospital Authority has set up over 18 Chinese medicine outpatient clinics in the public sector.
The Ordinance established the Chinese Medicine Council, which has put in place a licensing system for Chinese medicine traders and a registration system of proprietary Chinese medicines. This system allows Chinese medicines to be assessed for safety, efficacy and quality. The dispensing, storing and labeling of Chinese herbal medicines are also regulated.
Acupuncture, one of the oldest known medical practices, involves inserting needles into specific acupuncture points on the body to treat health problems and improve general well-being.
Based on the same ideas of acupuncture, acupressure involves putting physical pressure on acupuncture points on the body’s surface by hand, elbow or by other devices. It relaxes muscular tension and balances the vital forces of the body.
This treatment involves placing glass, plastic or bamboo cups on the skin with a vacuum. The therapy relieves what is called “stagnation” in TCM terms. It is used to treat respiratory disorders, including the common cold, pneumonia and bronchitis, as well as back, neck, shoulder and other musculoskeletal pain.
Traditional Chinese herbal medicine involves the brewing of fresh or dried Chinese herbs to make a tea that is consumed as medicine.
Moxibustion is a form of heat therapy in which dried plant materials called “moxa” are burned on or very near the surface of the skin to stimulate blood circulation and induce a smooth flow of “qi” — believed in TCM to be a fundamental substance of life. Practitioners consider moxibustion to be an especially effective treatment of chronic problems, where new energy is infused into the body to treat both excess and deficient conditions.
Naturopaths and Alternative Medicine
Natural and holistic treatments and therapies have become increasingly popular in Hong Kong. Treatments emphasize disease prevention and overall wellness. While no regulatory body or registration scheme currently exists to monitor the qualifications or standards of practitioners, the Integrated Association of Naturopaths of Hong Kong provides information about alternative treatments and doctors providing them.
For those living with pets, here is a list of some well-established veterinary clinics in the city.
Additionally, you can often find user reviews and discussions of pets and pet services on expat forums such as GeoExpat or AsiaExpat.