View Full Version : Public or private?
This is my 1st pregnancy and we're trying to decide whether to go public or private. We live in Melbourne. Has anyone had experience of both systems? Any advice would be appreciated. The private obs I've booked with will end up charging $3000 after getting money back with the safety net plus there would be $250 excess on insurance and potentially charges for tests and other specialists...Pluses are that I have confidence that this doc is very good and it would be nice to have someone you've met before and trust in charge on the big day, little bit longer stay in hospital, probably private room...Is private worth it? It's a lot of money but also a pretty important event! Can't decide.
Thanks in advance for your help...
Hi my partner and I wanted to go private in the beginning-we only had minimal health insurance and when I unexpectedly fell pregnant we made an app with the ob and died when we saw how much it cost! So we raised our health cover but that wouldn't help us for a year!
So in the end we went public and I'm happy that we did...I found a holistic anti-natal clinic with great midwives, we had good classes with the hospital and the labour was good too. I had a room with a few other people and the babies did cry but it didn't bother me much, I found it hard to get rest worrying if I was looking after the baby ok! Plus I was dying to get out after 4 days...so it worked well for me and it was all free!
Maybe find out about the different hospitals in your area in Melbourne...and think,is money an issue? Cos if it's not then maybe it's worthwhile? And also factor in if you are in a high risk group... Good luck, I'm sure you'll make the right choice!:o
Two Little Buggalugs
Firstly, congratulations! I went private with the Mercy Hospital for Women. My ob cost $1500 around the middle of the pregancy, then about $35 per visit after. But with the safety net, we paid about $1200 all up. I had a heart attack when I heard two friends had paid $7000 and $3000 extra going private and nearly switched to public half way through.
Luckily the Mercy is both public and private, so they charge everyone the same. The ob explained that the most I would have to pay would be a couple of hundred dollars and in the end I didn't pay anything extra.
I liked my ob, she was excellent, but I had such a straight forward pregnancy I often thought why have I bothered. There were only two private couples in the antenatal class, everyone else was public and saw the midwives during their visits. They all said the midwives were excellent. There were a couple of high risk cases too, including twins, and they all were happy public.
That said, my bub spent about a week in NICU (baby intensive care) and during that time I was very glad for my ob's support and the paed that the health fund provided. I also had my own room, which was handy for some private mental breakdowns. They are one those specialist tertiary/training hospitals (where sick bubs are sent from other hospitals) and that became important for us, having the facilities in hospital.
So, the point of all that waffle was to figure out what's important to you and do lots of ringing around. If you've got your heart set on an ob and a private room, just find a hospital that doesn't charge extra. On the other hand, loads of bubhubbers have had excellent public and midwive experiences too. Good luck :wave: .
Thanks guys for your replies and congratulations:wave: It is pretty exciting! Wish there weren't these hard decisions or the :barf:(this morning is especially bad...)
I'm classed as a high risk pregnancy for a number of reasons. I'm booked into the Mercy for public and have to go through their perinatal clinic (can't do the team midwifery etc). The private obs at the Mercy my GP suggested were not available when I called (at 4 weeks and 2 days!) and the one I'm booked to see is at Frances Perry. A friend of mine said her obs at the Mercy is only going to charge $1500 and I think if I'd found one where the gap was only that much I'd go for it but $3000+ hurts. The other obs I called who were available were all a similar price. It's annoying because if I'd known I'd have to pay such a big gap, I might not have bothered with the private health insurance all this time.
I'm not so fussed about the private room (at the Mercy there are only 2 to a room anyway) and I think the public antenatal care will be very good (although no one to call directly if you suspect something is wrong), my main concern is that birth will be pretty scary and I think it would be comforting to have someone with knowledge/experience there who I've met before and gotten to know and trust, especially if something goes wrong. I suppose the other option would be a private midwife although I haven't looked this option - I assume that if you hire a private midwife you are still booked into the hospital as a private patient? Anyone know how it works and how much it would cost? Is it possible to go public for everthing except bring your own midwife?
Two Little Buggalugs
Have you tried all the obs at Mercy? It seems full on to be booked out so early, but I guess it's a popular hospital. I had Miranda Robinson there and she was great.
Even if you get an ob, you don't see them much during labour. I had two midwives at different times during labour who I had never met before and they were both really nice. They don't hover around all the time, mostly you're labouring with your partner/birth support people and they keep popping in, until it gets to the later stage. Although I guess you'd need a lot of monitoring for a high risk birth?
Not sure on the private midwife, you might need to start a new thread with that in the title to get some answers. Or try the bubhub directory and you might find some websites about private midwives too. :wave:
As far as I know you can't have a private midwife to birth at hospitals you use private midwives for homebirths only. The midwives employed at the hospital are just as capable of delivering high quality care and a good outcome for both you and the babe. In a high risk pregnancy a homebirth wouldn't be reccommended, I would go publicly at a local hospital where if anything goes wrong (and I hope it doesn't) BUT there are obs on call there anyway that will be there in a flash...well I know they are where I work anyway.....otherwise midwifery care is the way to go :hugs:
Thanks again for your advice. We've decided to go public. There will be plenty of things we're going to need that money for with a family! I'm sure all the public midwives are great, it's just a pity I can't use the team midwifery model so that I could get to know them a bit beforehand. But, given my complications, its actually a relief to be seeing the experienced obs in perinatal (can't have it both ways!). The fact that I don't think we should have a two-tiered system (for education or health) probably tipped the balance for me (I'd be a hypocrite wouldn't I?) and makes me feel more comfortable about our decision. Anyway, your posts really helped so thankyou.:thumbsup:
I too was unsure if to go private or public. My reasons for going private were that I wanted to have an obst with me throughout the whole 9 months, someone who I could call in the middle of the night and they would know who I was and what my situation was.
I am in Sydney on the North Shore and the North Shore public hospital has a top range maternity suite...however several months before I visited my best friend who gave birth there and she had to share a room for 4 days. It was horrible (for me) the lady who was next to her had her family in and out every few visiting hours, our friend had no peace. That was one of the reasons I went private, some people might say that this is a poor excuse, I knew how I would react in that situation and I was glad I chose private. When our daughter was born, the baby blues, depression, anxiety hit me extremely bad and I can tell you that the last thing I wanted was to be in shared room with another mother and her crying baby, or having to put up with visitors coming in and out.
This wasnt the only reason. I had minor complications and at the time of labour all the head nurses/midwifes attended, plus the obst was in and out and was always giving advice on what to do and what medication to give me.
The difficulty is that both private and public hospitals have positives and negatives in the end I was glad to to private.
All up my obst cost $3000 (before my refund) so I wasnt out of pocket too much, even so I was glad to have the care and privacy I needed.
Hope this helps?
Powered by vBulletin® Version 4.1.9 Copyright © 2013 vBulletin Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved.