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Advisor Calls for Improving Rules on Mainland Women Giving Birth in HK
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Authorities of both Hong Kong and the Chinese mainland should improve the regulations to deal with the soaring number of pregnant mainland women traveling to Hong Kong to give birth there, an advisor said in Beijing on Saturday.

They should consult each other for the improvement according to the capacity of Hong Kong's medical resources, said Pan Guiyu, a member of the Standing Committee of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), China's top advisory body.

Many pregnant mainland women are reported to be traveling to Hong Kong to take advantage of the inexpensive but high-quality medical facilities, and try to obtain citizenship rights for their children, said Pan, also vice minister in charge of the State Commission of Population and Family Planning.

The influx of pregnant mainland women has drawn fierce complaints from local expectant mothers in Hong Kong, many of whom say they have arrived at hospital on their due dates only to be refused admission because of a shortage of beds.

"The mainland authorities should improve its medical services to narrow the gap with Hong Kong," said Pan at a press conference on the sidelines of the ongoing CPPCC annual session which almost runs parallel with one of the country's parliament.

Meanwhile, Hong Kong and mainland authorities should make joint efforts to "heighten the awareness of mainland citizens on the laws and regulations of Hong Kong in this regard."

Also, a small not number of the pregnant mainland women who traveled to Hong Kong just in an attempt to shun the "one family, one child" family planning policy of the mainland, Pan told reporters.

Hong Kong announced in January rules to limit the number of mainland women who are at least seven months pregnant from entering Hong Kong unless they are booked into a local hospital. The rules took effect in February.

(Xinhua News Agency March 10, 2007)

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