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  1. #1
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    Default Questions about private care in a public hospital, OBs and midwife clinics

    Hi all, my names Joanna and I'm new around here. I'm 6.5 weeks pregnant and trying to figure out what to do about hospitals.

    We have private health insurance and are thinking about going to Westmead Public, but as a private patient.

    Does anyone have any experience doing this? How was your experience?

    Also I've been referred to an OB. Does anyone know if my health fund will cover the costs of the OB?

    My sister and mum have recommended going to a midwifes clinic in the hospital for the birth. But you can do that as a public patient, so I'm not sure I would feel ok about having paid health insurance for so long to end up using a public service. Would there be any benefits of doing this? Would I still be able to use my own OB?

    My main concerns are getting good care, flexibility, getting a private room if possible and not ending up with too much out of pocket expense.

    Any help or advice would be much appreciated. I'm completely confused with all of this

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    Hello and congrats on your pregnancy.

    I had my DS at Westmead Public 2 years ago and went in as a private patient. I am due to have number 2 there in November.

    When i had DS they had the new maternity wards up and running and it was a maximum of 2 to a room. Having said that I did get my own room with ensuite, TV, bar fridge etc. The rooms are nothing flashy, but are comfortable. The hospital will make every attempt to give you your own room, however, you need to be prepared for the eventuality that if they are very busy (which Westmead is) then you may have to share a room. I enjoyed my stay there and was looked after by the midwives, but still couldn't wait to get home.

    My health fund covered my stay at Westmead and I didn't have to pay a cent. I'm not sure but maybe the hospital covered my excess??? As I didn't have to pay any excess during my 5 day stay there.

    My health fund also covers the cost of my OB delivering my baby but not the management fee of $2300. You will find that health funds will only cover in hospital services.

    I think the best thing is to check with your health fund and see what they will cover and what they won't. Also check with them if they will cover the full cost of your OB delivering your baby so that you won't be shocked by any nasty GAP fees.

    If you live within the Westmead local area then you can go in as a public patient if you want and not have to pay a cent for your stay and delivery of your child (not sure about anesthetic costs though). I have to go in as a private patient as I live in Blacktown and would have had to give birth there if I didn't have health insurance.

    Good luck with whatever decision you make.

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the info.

    Does anyone know if there is any benefit in going to a pubic hospital as a private patient when I already live in the hospital's local area?

    Will it make any difference in cost, privacy or choice of care?

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    Personally I would not go to a public hospital as a private patient, you get the same care as a public patient except pay instead of getting it for free.

    The difference is you get to choose your own ob, there fees can range into the 1000's - mine charges $3154 (& i got about $1600 back from medicare) Health funds dont cover the obs charges pre birth.

    For me, my public hospital wasn't really an option, they are just way too busy (have just brought in new rules of a 4hr - 48hr post birth stay) Going private I was able to choose my ob & hospital who had great reputations (and only private rooms). We had a wonderful low intervention labour / birth, a great 6 day stay, endless bf support & help and no shortages of nurses. Where as I was admitted to the public hospital at 31wks for reasons and had to buzz numerous times and wait 60mins + for a nurse to attend.
    I really think you need to compare the hospitals you have to choose from rathan than public v public.

    Out of the my choices the 2 closest public have bad reps, the third closest public has a greeat rep. Of the 2 close private one has a great rep, one has an okay rep

    Good luck with your choices


 

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