Last updated on September 28, 2021.
What is ophthalmologist | Ophthalmologists vs. Optometrists | Ophthalmologists in HK | When to see an ophthalmologist | Reasons to see an ophthalmologist | Costs | Ophthalmologists list | Public sector | Private sector | Insurance coverage
Looking for an ophthalmologist in Hong Kong? Need treatment for cataract or glaucoma? Considering a Lasik procedure? Healthy Matters brings you an expert, comprehensive guide with all the details you need.
What is an Ophthalmologist?
An ophthalmologist refers to doctors who specialize in eye and vision care. They diagnose and treat all eye diseases, conduct eye surgeries and prescribes eyeglasses and contact lenses for better vision. They are trained to perform eye procedures such as cataract surgery, glaucoma surgery or lasik. Many ophthalmologists are also involved in scientific research on the causes and cures for eye diseases and vision disorders.
Difference between Ophthalmologists and Optometrists
Both ophthalmologists and optometrists can perform eye exams and are certified to detect, diagnose and manage eye diseases that require medical and non-medical treatment. Optometrists are primary healthcare professionals who provide primary vision care ranging from vision testing and correction to the diagnosis, treatment and management of vision changes.
The main difference is that optometrists cannot perform medical eye surgeries. An optometrist is not a medical doctor. Unlike optometrists, ophthalmologists are medical doctors who are licensed and trained to perform eye surgery.
Choosing a practitioner depends highly on the treatment you need. If you have healthy eyes that do not need specialized medical or surgical treatment, both ophthalmologists and optometrists can satisfy your needs. But if you are already having medical eye issues such as glaucoma, macular degeneration or cataracts, it is necessary to find a trained ophthalmologist to treat your condition and perform surgery if needed.
For a complete guide about Optometrists in Hong Kong:
What to know about Ophthalmologists in Hong Kong
There are over 320 registered ophthalmologists in Hong Kong, working both in the private and public sectors. You can find the official list of registered ophthalmologists in Hong Kong from the Medical Council here.
There are 11 Hospital Authority (public) hospitals in Hong Kong with ophthalmologists:
- Alice Ho Miu Ling Nethersole Hospital
- United Christian Hospital
- Hong Kong Eye Hospital
- Tung Wah Eastern Hospital
- Queen Mary Hospital
- Caritas Medical Centre
- Grantham Hospital
- Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern Hospital
- Pok Oi Hospital
- Prince of Wales Hospital
- Tseung Kwan O Hospital
In Hong Kong, it takes a minimum of 6 years to be an ophthalmologist. The training program is divided into two parts – Basic and Higher Training. The Basic Training will last for at least 2 years which is considered completed only after the trainee has passed the intermediate examination and logbook inspection. The Higher Training will last for at least 4 years after completion of the basic training.
The College of Ophthalmologists of Hong Kong has a goal of promoting the advancement of knowledge in the field of ophthalmology and standard of ophthalmic care in Hong Kong. It aims to maintain good practice and high professional standards of competence in the field of ophthalmology in Hong Kong, and encourage training, continuing education and research.
When should you see an Ophthalmologist?
If you don’t experience any of these symptoms or none of these cases apply to you, seeing an ophthalmologist for preventive care services could still be beneficial to your eye health. Preventive care services that ophthalmologists commonly conduct include general eye examinations.
Healthy adults who do not notice anything wrong with their eyes should see an eye doctor according to this schedule:
Age 19 to 40: at least every 10 years
Age 41 to 55: at least every 5 years
Age 56 to 65: at least every 3 years
Over age 65: at least every 2 years
Children should have an eye examination conducted with an optometrist when they turn 4. However, if they have any early signs / eye problems or are significantly behind in their development, parents should consult an optometrist or ophthalmologist immediately.
Most common reasons to see an Ophthalmologist
It is recommended to see an ophthalmologist if you are experiencing:
- Loss or change in vision such as sudden spots, flashes of light, jagged lines of light
- Wavy or watery vision, blurry faces, distortions or wavy lines, haloes around lights, double vision
- Changes in the field of vision such as shadows, curtain-like loss of vision, black spots or blurriness in central or peripheral (side) vision
- Physical changes to the eye such as crossed eyes, eyes that turn in, out, up or down, pain, signs of infection (redness, swelling, discharge, etc.)
- Changes in the colour of the iris
- White areas in the pupil of your eye
- Itching, burning, or a heavy discharge in your eyes
Common treatments performed by ophthalmologists include:
- Amblyopia (Lazy Eye) and Presbyopia Treatment
- Cataract Surgery & Lens Implant Services
- Children’s Eye Disorders & Childhood Myopia
- Corneal Transplantation & External Diseases
- Cosmetic Eyelid Surgery
- Diabetic Retinopathy
- Floaters & Retinal Detachment
- OCT Optical Coherence Tomography
- Oculoplastic Service & Surgery
- Ophthalmic Pathology
- Strabismus (Squints)
How much does it cost to see an Ophthalmologist in Hong Kong?
In Hong Kong the cost of a consultation with an ophthalmologist varies greatly depending, amongst other things, on the location and facilities. Our research shows that consultations in the private sector range from $600 to $1,850.
For eligible HKID-holders, attending a public specialist clinic would cost $135 for first attendance and $80 for subsequent attendance.
For non-eligible people, the price of a day procedure and treatment at a public ophthalmic clinic is $725 per attendance.
Beware of waiting times which can be very long in the public sector.
Please enquire at your clinic of choice for the specific costs.
* All amounts are in HKD and were last updated in May 2020. No responsibility is accepted for any inaccuracies, errors, or omissions. It is always best to call ahead to make sure the information is still up-to-date.
Lists of Ophthalmologists in Hong Kong
To make it easier for you, here is a list of Hong Kong ophthalmologists and specialised eye clinics:
Ophthalmologists in the Public Sector:
Here is the list of public centers providing Ophthalmologists services throughout Hong Kong.
Ophthalmologists in the Private Sector:
Here is a list of 96 private Ophthalmologists along with their fees, address, and consultation hours according to the Hong Kong Ophthalmological Society (HKOS).
Ophthalmologists on Hong Kong Island:
Dr. Marcus Marcet 馬思特醫生
Address : Unit 1101-3, 11th Floor, Asia Standard Tower, 59-65 Queen’s Road Central, Central
Phone : 9617 9068
Consultation Fee: $1,000 – $1,500
Ophthalmologists in Kowloon:
CUHK-HKEH Private Eye Clinic
Address : 3/F, Hong Kong Eye Hospital, 147K Argyle Street, Kowloon
Phone : 3943 5886
Consultation Fee: HK$1,850 (Initial consultation) HK$1,540 (Subsequent Follow up Consultation)
St. Teresa’s Hospital Eye and Refractive Surgery Centre
Address : 4/F, East Wing, 327 Prince Edward Road, Kowloon
Phone : 2200 3240
Consultation Fee: $600
Ophthalmologists in New Territories:
Does insurance cover consultations and treatments with Ophthalmologists in Hong Kong?
According to Alea, ophthalmology consultations are reimbursed under doctor specialist fees. Generally, high-end medical plans will reimburse ophthalmologist consultation and surgical fees in full without any sub-limit whereas local plans usually have surgical and doctor specialist limits. In regards to elective procedures as corrective vision surgeries (LASIK, PRK, SMILE, LASEK), they are rarely covered by insurance providers. Beware of any sub-limits and waiting periods. If you have any health insurance questions, contact an expert at Alea at [email protected].
This article is informative only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice and should never be relied upon for specific advice.