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  1. #1
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    Default Have private health cover but planning on going public

    Hi - I do have private health cover for obstetrics but am not planning in using it... one of the main reasons we wanted it was in case we had problems as it covers IVF, etc. I am in Melbourne and plan on going to the Royal Women's. I know a couple of people who have had babies there and they said it was a great experience. I just don't really understand paying thousands for an obgyn, scans, etc when you can't even guarantee that that doctor will be the one to deliver your baby, and all the best neo-natal care is in the public hospitals anyway.

    Am I missing something? I am from the UK originally so am used to a public health service so I am sure that is influencing my views. The Aussies I know who have babies all seem to be terrified of the words "public health"!

    I am not fussed about seeing the same person at each appointment, or being put in a hotel room for a few days after birth so a lot of the "benefits" don't really sell it to me.

    I am not actually pregnant yet (to my knowledge!) but interested on others' views.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    I'm also originally from the UK, so maybe my view is coloured by that, but I preferred to see a midwife for my pregnancy and birth rather than an OB, so I've opted for public. I also have PHI (but no obstretric cover).

    So far i am $200 out of pocket (nuchal scan not covered by Medicare), but that should be it. I'm under Team Midwifery care too, so see the same 6 midwives for my prenatal care, and one of them will deliver my baby.

    I'm interested to hear other peoples' views too

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    I have private health, but conceived before the waiting period expired.

    What I disliked about public was the lack of continuity of care, and sharing a room after the labour, and my partner having to go home.

    If I had another hospital birth, I would probably go private, but I hope to have a home birth.

    If I did go public, I would go home preferably the same day as I found the hospital stay inhospitable.

  4. #4
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    Hmmm I had not thought about my OH having to go home.... I would not like that at all! I would plan on leaving asap after birth but when I have said that to a few people who gave birth in private hospitals, they said it wasn't possible as you have to hand around to see the breastfeeding nurse. Is this true? What are the options for those who have uncomplicated births and could really go home?

  5. #5
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    I went public and had excellent care. My DH was able to stay with me too. I was aware that the only time your partner was not allowed to stay was if the maternity ward was full and they put you in overflow rooms, as this happened to my friend. For Uncomplicated births, they usually keep you 1 night.

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    I am someone who shudders at public health. I would never consider it.
    As some PP have stated... with my first baby, I couldnt imagine my DH having to leave at night and being on my own with my new baby.. not knowing what to do!
    I also refuse to share a room let alone a bathroom.

    There was never any doubt that my OB would make my birth. If he was going to be away, he would have let me know well in advance and then given me the opportunity to get to know the OB likely to deliver...
    Infact he was about to perform a C-sec at a public hospital when he was called to come and deliver my baby and he was there in about 10 minutes!

  7. #7
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    Yes, all things to consider.... what if your OB had been sick though? I know the chances are totally minimal but it is still a chance. I think partners being able to definitely stay with you is probably the no. 1 benefit of going private, but not sure the cost would justify it. Thousands of dollars is a lot, especially when going down to one salary. Eek!!!

    I am also concerned about the number of c-sections that seem to happen at private hospitals here in Aus. Eight of eight of the women I know who have had babies here have all had c-sections, and I find it hard to believe that they were all necessary.... I will likely get a doula/private midwife to support me in this.

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    My SIL is high risk and she went public. She liked it and will go public again. However, I saw huge differences in her care compared to mine, but because she never had my level of care... I guess it doesnt bother her? Where as for me to go public now, well, no thanks.
    The public hospital she had her baby at has had some poor publiciity lately and I wouldnt step foot in there, but she was happy with it and yes she couldnt justify spending thousands to go private when she was happy with the care she had publicly.
    so, more food for your thought!!

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    I go private for my babies. But thats because I have an OB who I LOVE. I think people do the midwife v OB thing as if people are on teams. I say pick a health care provider you like - whatever profession they are, if u see a few and happen to like one who is a midwife then great, but if you might like one that is an OB. As for the C section thing, it depends on your provider too. There are plenty of OB's out there who go above and beyond avoiding them, like my OB. I have to say that after a long posterior labour with the bub starting show signs for distress, it was my OB who got me through a safe vaginal delivery and I was calm the whole time because I knew that if it did all go pear shaped he was right there, the same man I had seen evey month or more for the last nine months.
    I get that the sharing a room doesnt bother some people but as this is bub #3 for me having my own room means that having the two older kids around isnt such a hassle.
    Good luck with your decision and my only advice would be to meet and greet with a few providers and go with what feels best for you.

  10. #10
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    I am going Public this time....my last two were Private and talking to friends who have gone Public I think that the experience is exactly the same! And frankly so far I have not found any difference in my care between public and private at all.

    My OB is a Public/Private OB and at anytime I can change and do the private route if I want and will not have to have to change Drs.

    Also I am a High Risk patient as I am trying for a VB after 2 c/s so I will be going to the nearest hospital which is a Public Hospy.

    I think its a matter of investigating your public hospital, checking the maternity ward, seeing what care you having if its shared care, just an OB, just a midwife, etc.

    To be frank I dont think that the care an OB gives will be any different if you are public or private. They still get paid one way or the other! Besides when I was private my OB would see me once a month for about 5 mins. All he did was check heartbeat, see how I felt and that was it. Also when it comes time to give birth the midwives are there the whole time and the only time the OB sees you is when you are about to push the baby out! ALso you may not even have your OB when if you need a CS as they might be with another patient or cant get there in time, etc.

    Also another thing was that when I was private, if ever there was an serious medical issue with me or bubs the private hospy wasnt equipped to deal with it so I or bubs would have been shipped to the nearest facility that had all the equipment to deal with serious issues....which is the public hospital!

    So I am certainly not bagging private at all...it definatley has its place and if people are more comfortable in private then thats great!

    But for me in this situation my care will be the same regardless of public or private so I choose public and to save some money!

    The other difference is I have to share a room for a couple of days....no big deal. Its only a couple of days and quite frankly it does get a bit boring in there!


 

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