View Full Version : We've just arrived in Melbourne and I am pregnant can you help me with some advise?
My husband and I arrived in Melbourne three weeks ago from the UK :wave:and have just discovered I am pregnant :) - which is fabulous - but we really don't know how the system works here :confused:.
I know I need to visit a GP are there any information centres or sources where I can find out which one would be best?
I beleive that there are three different types of care available GP, Midwife or Obsteritian? How do you choose and can anyone make reccommendations?
Sorry lots of questions I know :ecomcity:. Any advise and help very much appreciated.
Thanks for your help
HI and welcome to Australia :wave: I'm another English person and I actually live in the Bayside area as well! The first thing you need to do is go see a GP and they will explain your choices.
Basically you can have GP care only and go to a public hospital (free). I did this twice and was very pleased - gave birth at Sandringham if you're anywhere near there. I was lucky enough to have a GP that actually delivers though. If you have private health cover, which I doubt if you're so new here, you can see an obstetrician and give birth in a private hospital. Even if you have cover you will still be out of pocket a little bit of money.
If you go public you can have midwife care only too (which is also free).
I don't know how you would get a GP recommendation apart from asking around.
pm me if you would like, I may know the hospitals near you or even some of the doctors :)
If you don't have private health insurance (or access to the mint$$$) then public is the way to go. A GP could point you in the right direction. I have friends who have had their babies at the Womens (Melb CBD), Mercy (Heidelberg) Mercy (Werribee) and the Northern (Epping). No major complaints from any, but the Mercy in Heidelberg seems to be the favorite.
You can also hire a private midwife and birth at home, but be prepared to pay $4000 or more for this option.
Congratulations! I'm also British and had a baby here last year. I presumed that things here were the same as in the UK, and went public at the Mercy, [I'm a nurse], and had a fairly awful experience. I wouldn't go public again. The midwives in Australia have much less power and are less respected than they are at home and the obstetricians are very much in charge. The model of care is more medical, much less woman-centred, and intervention rates are higher. Home birth is virtually non-existent, not supported by the hospitals and quite expensive. There seems to be little concept of research based care, [such as is provided by NICE in the UK], and what happens to you is very much down to which team you get on the day.
Next time I shall bite the bullet and go private, probably at St Vincents, and find a obstetrician who will give me a fixed price, [that works out cheaper than paying premiums and out of pocket expenses]. If you have a low risk pregnancy then birthing centres are a good public option, and I was planning on that when my pregnancy went wrong, but transfers out of the birthing centre are often about 60-70%.
This all sounds a bit grim, but coming from Brighton in the UK, where we had a big percentage of home births, low intervention rates and fantastic midwives, it was all a bit of a shock to me. I was very opposed to private health care, but having been through the system I'd say it's the best choice, if you want to be guaranteed some choices in how you give birth.
Do you have full medicare or only full reciprocal care? (and if reciprocal when does it run out? Can't remember the expiry if there is one for UK residents)
Did you have private insurance for medical in the UK and have you purchased it here.
From there I can help explain your options. :thumbsup:
Ok, I just wrote a massive post which was eaten :hissy: SO hopefully I remember to post everything in this second time round.. Congratulations on your pregnancy! :)
I went to my GP who gave me a referral to a local Ob. All my appointments were with the Ob, and I paid for all the costs. I had a few scans through my pregnancy- some of the cost was covered by medicare (not sure if you would be covered though?).
I had the birth a a local public hospital- and it was a great experience. I have the luxury of knowing people who have used the Ob and the hospital before though, so it was an easy choice. Also at the hospital I found that the midwives were fantastic and did most of the care, so my experience is a little different to some others posted on here. I think that it can come down to the people on duty on the day.
I liked seeing an Ob through the pregnancy as I knew I was seeing the same person throughout. I also was able to make appointments at convenient times, rather then having to wait around at the hospital (like in midwife care).
Hi and thanks to you all for the advice it is very much appreciated. My husband and I were feeling a bit lost but it is great to know that people are willing to help out, so thanks again.:thumbsup:
No we don't have private health care but we do have full medicare cover.
I have now booked myself in to see a GP next week so fingers crossed everything is ok, I'm sure it will be.
Full medicare is great, you are a regular patient as far as the system is concerned.
You can have your initial few visits with a GP, and your GP can even refer you for ultrasounds (yes you require a referal for a medical ultrasound. Some clinics will take you without one, but that would mean you can't claim from medicare).
You will often find that your Dr's and ultrasound clinics may have some out of pockets, as they can choose to charge more than the schedule fee (set by medicare).
As for the birth,
Your two main options are home birth, or public hospital.
Home birth is not covered by medicare, so all the expenses would be your own. In saying that it can be a wonderful option for some ladies. You can look in the 'home births' section (under pregnancy and birth). You would hire an indipendant midwife in advance and they would help you through the birth.
It's not for everyone though.
Public birth can vary quite dramatically dependant on the hospital you are going too. It's probably a good idea to find out what hospitals are close to you, which will take you (sometimes you can be limited due to location), and pick one or more prefered hospitals. Once you have your chosen hospitals you can find out HOW they work.
There are some hospitals that will have you admit through midwives at the facility and your GP as 'shared care'. They would assign you an ob based on when you go into hospital. Some hospitals like you to see one of their delivering ob's ahead of time. But as this can vary depending on the hospital, the facility itself is often a good place to start.
Good Luck E :thumbsup:
Thanks again Izy
no worries, i hope it's making more sense now
My advice...don't get swine flu :D
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