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PET scan in Hong Kong: Where to Go and Costs

PET scans detect cancer, heart disease and brain disorders. Find out where to get a PET scan in Hong Kong – and how much it costs.
Last update:
6th September 2022
alea
Reviewed by a licensed advisor
pet-ct-scanner in hospital
pet-ct-scanner in hospital
PET scans detect cancer, heart disease and brain disorders. Find out where to get a PET scan in Hong Kong – and how much it costs.
Last update: 6th September 2022

What is a PET scan?

A positron emission tomography (PET) scan is an imaging technique used by medical professionals to check for abnormal metabolic activities in your body. This is helpful for identifying and diagnosing diseases. A radioactive tracer (aka radiotracer or radiopharmaceutical) is inhaled, ingested, or injected into your body. The tracer then collects in different organs and tissues. The scanner detects emissions from the tracer, and a computer produces three-dimensional images of the body part being examined.

Since tracers build up in areas where abnormal metabolic activity is present, these areas appear as bright spots in the PET scan. PET scans are commonly used to detect cancer, brain disorders (such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, dementia and epilepsy), and heart disease. They can also be used to monitor the spread of cancer, stage of cancer and effectiveness of cancer treatment. PSMA PET scans allow doctors to more effectively and precisely detect prostate cancer.

PET scans can often pick up on cancers and other diseases before they can be picked up by CT and MRI scans. They are frequently combined with CT or MRI as PET-CT or PET-MR (sometimes PET-MRI) scans.

Need health insurance to cover your PET scans?

What to expect during a PET scan

Before you proceed, you should tell the medical team if you are diabetic, pregnant or potentially pregnant, breastfeeding or claustrophobic. You should also notify the medical team if you are taking drugs or supplements, and tell them about your allergies (in case you might have a reaction to the radiotracer).

The medical team will provide you with detailed instructions before your PET scan. In most cases, you will need to avoid vigorous exercise for a day or two, fast for 4 to 6 hours, empty your bladder, and put on a hospital gown. If it’s a PET-CT or PET-MR scan, you will probably need to remove metal or magnetic jewelry.

During the PET scan, you will be given the radiotracer by intravenous injection, or you will be asked to swallow or inhale it. You will have to wait around an hour for your body to absorb the tracer. You will be asked to lie on a bed that will enter the donut-shaped PET scanner machine. The scanner may be a bit noisy, emitting whirring or clicking sounds – you might be allowed to wear headphones to listen to music during the scan. You must lie completely still while the scan is taking place, or the images will not be clear.

After the PET scan, you should drink lots of water to flush the radiotracer from your body. Because the radiotracer is radioactive, you might want to avoid spending time with pregnant women or infants for a few days. A radiologist will interpret your PET scan images and share them with your doctor.

PET scan charges in Hong Kong

PET scan costs in the public sector

In Hong Kong’s public healthcare system, the Hospital Authority lists PET-CT scans as private services under Radiology Services, Group VI (Nuclear Medicine) (第六組(核子醫學)).

Prices in the public sector range from HK$2,560 to HK$19,850, depending on the body parts involved. Note that the listed prices do not include the charge for radio-pharmaceuticals (tracers).

Wait times in the public sector can be very long. Since demand for radiological imaging tests outpaces supply in the public sector, the Hospital Authority has set up the Private Healthcare Info Desk to direct patients to private medical imaging services.

Discounts for HA patients

Some private hospitals and private medical clinics may provide a discount to patients with a referral letter from a public hospital or clinic under the Hospital Authority. You can call ahead to ask if this is the case.

PET scan prices at private hospitals

PET scan prices at private hospitals can cost anywhere from HK$7,000 to over HK$40,000.

*Private hospital charges depending on the type of PET scan (PET-CT vs PET-MR), whether contrast dye is used, what type of ward, which body parts are examined, and so on.

*All amounts are in HKD and were last updated in September 2022. 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.

HospitalScan and cost
CUHK Medical Center
3946 6533
You will need to present a referral letter to get a quotation.
Evangel Hospital
2760 3415
PET-CT whole body (plain)
$16,000-20,800
PET-CT whole body (contrast)
$17,000-22,100
PET-CT whole body + Brain (plain)
$19,000-24,700
PET-CT whole body + Brain (contrast)
$20,100-26,300
PET-CT Brain (plain)
$7,000-9,100
PET-CT Brain (contrast)
$7,500-9,800
Gleneagles Hong Kong
3153 9965
PET-CT F18 FDG Whole Body Trunk (Plain) F18 FDG
$16,130-28,670
PET-CT F18 FDG Whole Body Trunk (with IV Contrast)
$17,830-31,700
PET-MR F18 FDG Whole Body Trunk (Plain) (with one dedicated region plain MRI)
$16,690-29,660
PET-MR F18 FDG Whole Body Trunk (Plain) (with one dedicated region contrast MRI)
$18,540-32,960
Hong Kong Adventist Hospital – Stubbs Road
2835 0525
PET-CT whole trunk survey
$13,600-27,400
PET-CT whole trunk survey (+C)
$17,100-34,450
Hong Kong Adventist Hospital – Tsuen Wan
2275 6340
PET/CT Whole Body Trunk (Plain)
$11,500-24,750
PET/CT Whole Body Trunk (Plain + Contrast)
$12,950-27,750
PET/CT Whole Body Trunk with Brain (Plain)
$12,250-26,250
PET/CT Whole Body Trunk with Brain (Plain + Contrast)
$13,650-29,250
PET/CT Whole Body Trunk with Extremities (Plain)
$12,250-26,250
PET/CT Whole Body Trunk with Extremities (Plain + Contrast)
$13,650-29,250
PET/CT Whole Body Trunk with Brain and
Extremities (Plain)
$12,950-27,750
PET/CT Whole Body Trunk with Brain and
Extremities (Plain + Contrast)
$14,350-30,750
Hong Kong Baptist Hospital
2339 7428 / 2339 7430
PET-CT Whole Body (Plain)
$16,545-24,818
PET-CT Whole Body (Contrast)
$19,005-28,508
PET-MR Whole Body
$19,075-40,313
PET-MR Regional
$10,925-29,130
Hong Kong Sanatorium & Hospital
2835 8822
Limited Whole Body Scan
$16,870
Regional Scan
$12,820
Brain Scan
$12,820
St. Paul’s Hospital
2830 3786
PET-CT Full body torso
$16,200-25,310
PET-CT Full body torso (contrast)
$18,900-29,540
Brain & torso
$18,900-29,540
Brain and torso (contrast)
$21,000-32,810
Prostate PSMA full body torso
$19,900-31,100
Prostate PSMA Full Body Torso (contrast)
$21,000-32,810
St. Teresa’s Hospital
2714 8263
WhatsApp: 9198 9250
You will need to present a referral letter to get a quotation.
Union Hospital
2608 3260
Whole Body Trunk (Plain)
Trunk (Plain)
$9,200-14,800
Whole Body Trunk (with contrast)
Trunk (IV Contrast)
$10,200-16,800
Whole Body Trunk with Brain (Plain)
$10,000-16,400
Whole Body Trunk with Brain (with contrast)
$11,000-18,400

PET scans at private clinics and imaging centers

Some private medical diagnostic centers also provide PET, PET-CT, and/or PET-MR scans. Below you may find listings of private clinics for your reference. Because prices are subject to change, it’s best to call directly to find out the charges so you can decide which service is most suitable for you.

Remember, if you have a referral letter from the Hospital Authority, you might be able to get a discount.

Clinic / Imaging centerAddress
Action Digital PET-CT Centre
Tel: 2336 2236
WhatsApp: 5206 2236
Unit 306-310, 3/F, 238 Nathan Road, Kowloon
Asia HK Medical Diagnostic Centre
2866 9633
18/F, 238 Nathan Road, Jordan, Kowloon
HKSH Eastern Medical Centre - Department of Nuclear Medicine & Positron Emission Tomography
2917 1110
3/F, Li Shu Fong Building, 5 A Kung Ngam
Village Road, Shau Kei Wan, Hong Kong
Hong Kong Advanced Imaging (Mongkok)
Tel: 2152 8540
WhatsApp: 9885 9813
12/F, Office Tower, Langham Place, 8 Argyle Street, Mong Kok, Kowloon
Hong Kong Health Check and Medical Diagnostic Centre (Jordan Flagship Centre)
3678 8266
WhatsApp: 6620 6307
4/F., HKHC Tower, 241-243 Nathan Road,
Jordan, Kowloon
Hong Kong Integrated Diagnostic Imaging Centre
3700 6800 / 3700 6801
3/F & 4/F, Champion Tower, 3 Garden
Road, Central, Hong Kong
KPM Healthcare Centre
3893 6888
First Floor, The Kowloon Hotel Shopping
Arcade, 19-21 Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon
Medhealth Diagnostic PET-CT Centre
Tel: 2956 2028
WhatsApp : 9888 6103
UG/F, Queen’s Road Centre, 152 Queen’s
Road Central, Central, Hong Kong
PET-CT Unit, Department of Diagnostic Radiology, Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, The University of Hong Kong
2255 5914
G/F, New Wing D, Queen Mary Hospital,
Pokfulam, Hong Kong
Quality HealthCare Central PET/CT Scan Centre
2896 1109
4/F, EuBank Plaza,9 Chiu Lung Street,
Central, Hong Kong
Union Imaging and Healthcheck Centre
Tel: 2571 1933
WhatsApp: 6015-3755
9/F, H Zentre, 15 Middle Road, Tsim Sha
Tsui, Kowloon
Venus Health and Imaging Centre
Tel: 2153 9347 / 2153 9373
WhatsApp: 9662 7219
3A Hang Shing Building, 363 Nathan Road, Jordan, Kowloon

Are PET scans covered by insurance?

The cost of a PET scan can be reimbursed by insurance if the PET scan was prescribed by a doctor and used to make a diagnosis for treatment. Note, however, that different types of insurance plans provide different amounts of coverage.

Most standard local insurance plans in Hong Kong have an annual limit, so, depending on the cost of the PET scan, you may have to pay any outstanding amount out of pocket.

Most high-end health insurance plans cover the cost of PET scans in full without any sub-limit.

On your health insurance table of benefits, PET scans would fall under one of these categories: Diagnostic scans and tests, Brain and body scans, Diagnostics, or Advanced medical imaging.

If you have any health insurance questions, feel free to contact an Alea advisor at hello@alea.care

FAQs

What is the difference between a PET scan and a CT scan?

A CT scan shows detailed images of tissues and organs, while a PET scan detects abnormal metabolic and biochemical activity. A PET scan can detect disease – particularly cancers – sooner than a CT scan. A PET scan (20 minutes to a few hours) also takes longer than a CT scan (a few minutes).

What is FDG in a PET scan?

FDG stands for fluorodeoxyglucose, a type of radiotracer used in PET scans. FDG has a chemical structure similar to glucose (a sugar), so your body processes it in the same way.

How long are you radioactive after a PET scan?

The radioactive substances will stay in your body for about 12 hours. Drink plenty of fluids to flush the radioactive substances out of your body.

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This article was independently written by Alea and is not sponsored. It is informative only and not intended to be a substitute for professional advice and should never be relied upon for specific advice.