Looking for a Psychiatrist in Hong Kong? If you’re looking for a mental health specialist qualified to prescribe medication but are unsure of your options, Healthy Matters brings you an expert, comprehensive guide with all the details you need!
Psychiatrists are trained doctors who specialize in the treatment and diagnosis of mental illnesses, behavioral and emotional disorders. They are trained for psychotherapy but will also focus on biology and neurochemistry to understand the issues faced by their patients. Treatment approaches by psychiatrists will tend to involve medication alongside some degree of psychotherapy, whereas psychologists are not qualified to prescribe medication as treatment.
There are currently more than 500 registered psychiatrists in Hong Kong, working both in the private and public sectors. Here is a list of available public psychiatric day hospitals and public psychiatric out-patient clinics under psychiatry.
Among the 43 public hospitals in Hong Kong, there are 15 Hospital Authority (public) hospitals in Hong Kong with registered psychiatrists available.
In Hong Kong, it takes a minimum of 7 years to become a psychiatrist. The training program for a prospective psychiatrist consists of 5 years of training as a doctor, then two years in mental health foundation training. Usually, there will be a further 4 years of higher training and an exit assessment before becoming a fully trained practicing psychiatrist. When all these have been completed, the prospective psychiatrist will be eligible for recommendation to be a Fellow of the Hong Kong Academy of Medicine, and he or she will be eligible for listing in the Specialist Register.
Psychiatrists practice both psychotherapy and general medicine. Usually, patients with more severe symptoms of mood disorders or psychosis can see a psychiatrist, so they can receive treatment in forms of both therapy and medication such as antidepressants.
Patients can be referred to see a psychiatrist by a general practitioner or psychologist, or by other service providers within the Hong Kong official Social Welfares department. If you are currently struggling with feelings of stress and/or anxiety, and have never been to see a specialist in the field, you could consider first visiting a psychologist for diagnosis as well as find out what treatment options are available to you.
Using the services of the public sector allows for lower medical costs, which is available to eligible persons as public charges. However, it is important to note that due to the current lack of psychiatrists available in the public sector, the individual appointment times that patients get with a psychiatrist is very limited. In many cases, patients have found that they only get up to 30 minutes with their psychiatrist and there is less time available to give thorough reports of their struggles and symptoms, and even less so for the operation of psychotherapy treatments.
On the official Hospital Authority website, you can find the waiting times for seeing a psychiatrist in the public sector over the past year. For cases considered “stable”, the mean waiting period varies from 24 up to 56 weeks, with the longest period being 131 weeks, depending on the district.
It is recommended to see a psychiatrist if you are experiencing:
For more specific conditions such as ADHD, PTSD or others, it may be best to reach out to the available specialists prior to making an appointment to ensure that they have the expertise that is specific to your condition.
First appointments with a psychiatrist generally involves going through the medical history of a patient. This could take the form of an interview or paperwork that the patient fills out, and it depends on which sector of healthcare they choose to go with as it determines the level of demand for the services and the time that can be allocated to each patient. The psychiatrist will then try to assess what treatment options to implement for the condition of the patient.
In Hong Kong, the cost of a consultation with a psychiatrist varies greatly as is the case for most doctors, depending on the location and facilities. Our research shows that consultations in the private sector range from $790 to $3,000.
For eligible HKID-holders, attending a public specialist clinic would cost $135 for first attendance and $80 for subsequent attendance. For service at psychiatric day hospitals, there is a fee of $60 for each attendance and no fee is charged for community nursing services in the psychiatric department.
For non-eligible people, the price of attending a public general clinic is $1,190 per attendance. The inpatient service fee at psychiatric hospitals is $2,340 per day. For service at psychiatric day hospitals, there is a fee of $1,260 per attendance and community nursing services charge $1,550 per visit.
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.
To make it easier for you, here is a list of Hong Kong psychiatrists and specialized clinics:
Here is the list of public centers providing psychiatrist services throughout Hong Kong.
Address: Room 1509, 15/F,
Address: Room 701, Kelly Commercial Ctr,
Address: Room 738, Nan Fung Centre,