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  1. #1
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    Default What is a 'Private patient in public hospital'?

    Hi all,

    Just looking for some help .... can someone please outline what a “private patient in public hospital” is?

    I have private cover, but took out obstetrics cover 19 April 2012, so wouldn’t be able to use that until 19 April 2013.

    We are going to start TTC in August and if we were lucky enough to conceive straight away the baby would be due mid to late April so it would be cutting it a bit fine to give birth in a private hospital.

    So what I’m wondering is would we be able to have a private obstetrician for our appointments (and pay whatever the gap is) and then give birth in a public hospital? Is that how “private patient in public hospital” works?

    Thanks for any help!

  2. #2
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    I think you will need to see if your chosen OB will go to that hospital. Maybe call your phi and OB office.

    I was under the impression that private in public hospital was the other way around. That you get whatever medical staff are on hand but you get your own room. But I'm not sure as we are going fully private for all.
    I was also told by our phi company to give yourself some room incase bub is early ( but not early enough for icu).
    We also took out cover in early April but won't TTC until September at the earliest; this puts us due mid / late may - 6 weeks over ( any earlier and I think we would be transferred to public anyway) .
    If you have your heart set on an OB / private then can you delay for a month? ( sorry i just wouldn't take the risk of having paid nearly a year of phi and then be out of pocket potentially thousands)

  3. #3
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    Just did a quick google I was wrong you can get your own doctor,

  4. #4
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    I've been told that even tho you may go private in a public hospital you aren't ''guaranteed'' a single room to yourself.. maybe it depends on the hospital? i know in private hospitals everyone pretty much gets their own rooms.

  5. #5
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    I had my first child in the private system. I was expecting all the additional costs that came with the experience e.g. Ob. fee of $4000 ($200 inital fee plus $100 per visit), Excess $500, Ped. $300, Aneths. $1400, radiologist $500, pathology $300. I was told if my child needed to go to the special care nursery I'd have to pay $400 per night unless I had family cover.
    Mind you I don't have family cover. I currently pay around $150 per month with Medibank Private and husband pays around $80. If we wanted family cover it's my fee times two ($300). So I was really lucky everything was ok with the baby.

    I'm currently pregnant with my second child and thought well all I really wanted was the experience of having an Ob. I liked and seeing them regularly so I might as well go private in the public system (at The Mercy Womens Hospital) and avoid all these additional costs. Boy was I wrong . It turns out I will still have to pay ALL the fees I mentioned in the private system (i.e. still the pathology, radiology, Anth.) Check the fine print because they'll tell you you'll have no out of pocket expenses in bold but a few lines down it'll say 'additional fees for pathology, radiology etc. may still apply.' In addition to paying all the above I also will have to cough up $100 per night to get a private room (which I'm not even guaranteed! Note as of Feb 2013 most private cover won't include a private room in a public hospital). Also my baby will be recognised as private patient and if their admitted into the special care nursery I'll still have to cough up $400 per night. Why would anyone ever go private in the public system!!??
    If you want to go to a private hospital then by all means go to a private hospital. At least you get what you pay for. But to go private in the public system there are absolutely no perks in comparison to a public patient except you get to choose your own OB. and even then you're not guaranteed that person on the day of delivery.

    After finding all this out I've decided to switch over and just be a public patient. From what I hear public hospitals (in particular Mercy Hospital for Women) is great (including all the registers and consultants) and at least as a public patient I don't have any expenses and still get the same care.

  6. #6
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    I was a private patient in a public hospital and l thought the only difference was that l had paid for the services of my own obstetrician.

    But l ended up having to pay around $300 per night for the stay in the public hospital. I think how it worked was l paid for 3 nights and any subsequent nights had no charge and then there may have been an anesthetist fee of around $550 too. These charges initially confused me as l couldn't get my head around the fact that l chose and paid for my own obstetrician but now the public hospital wanted to charge me to use them for the stay but if l had just gone though their public system and clogged it up further then my stay would be free.

    I went to a public hospital as at the time my phi didn't cover pregnancy related costs.

    I can't remember whether l was able to get any portion of the above amounts back through medicare.

    After birth of DS and then DD l had my own room, but l don't know whether it was because l was a private patient.

    Sent from my GT-I9000 using The Bub Hub mobile app
    Last edited by Night Owl; 08-05-2013 at 20:06.

  7. #7
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    My bub is Due in July ... I only upgraded my cover to include pregnancy services in September .. Fortunately we got pregnant first go, but certainly no where near the 12 month waiting period. So i promptly down graded my cover back to normal and am going public.

    However. I did ring up Bupa and inquire if i could go private patient, public hospital. Which i can, If i want to.

    The benefits at my local hospital include -

    Private room IF available (private rooms go to complicated births, Emergency C Sections, Multiple births etc... BEFORE private patients at my local hospital)
    I would get to pick my own private Ob and have my care through that Ob etc. Pay all the Ob fees (appointments, Management fees etc) out of pocket.
    Pay the excess of my health fund ($500) to be admitted as a private patient.
    Possibly be out of pocket even more for other costs such emergency C Section etc If required.

    Honestly. For me. It simply wasnt worth the extra money. I might have considered the cost if i could guarantee a private room that my hubby could stay overnight with me like they can in private .. but without that certainty ... not happening.

    I did however, go a private midwife. I have all up spent $500 on a "attending" the birth fee to have her there, all my antenatal appointments have been at my home, at times that suit me .. with the same midwife every time. All covered by medicare I love that i can ring her anytime day or night if i have an issue / feel sick etc.

    Currently private midwives dont have birthing rights in public hospitals, so, a QLD health nurse needs to be in the room, overseeing etc taking responsibility for insurance purposes but im happy to have spent $500 on having a known face with me at my time of need.

    Considering the thousands of dollars id be out of pocket for a private hospital birth.. i cant fault the public system yet.

    If however you are dead set on the private system and have the money... id be waiting until you well and truly are out of your 12 month wait.


 

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