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  1. #1
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    Default Having a baby from overseas

    Hi I'm new here

    I'm 9 weeks pregnant with my first child, and here is my situation :

    My husband and I are living overseas. We both have Australian permanent resident visa. However, we would be considered non residents for tax purpose by Australian Tax Office, hence can't use Medicare until we move permanently to Australia. My husband's employer provides health insurance, but it does not cover any overseas child birth, meaning our health insurance will not be valid for any pregnancy related expenses in Australia.

    Bottom-line: we would be spending our own money.

    We want the child to be born in Australia, so that he/she can be an Australian citizen, and thus want to avoid the long process of sponsorship through 101 visa if born overseas when we finally decide to migrate permanently.

    I would want to stay clear of private hospitals (high costs), and am thinking of going public (out of pocket), with a private OB in Melbourne.

    My questions :

    1) What would be the total expected costs in my scenario, the worse case: let's say I have to have a C section, with 5 days at hospital, and the best case: normal birth?

    2) When should I move to Australia for delivery to be able to successfully use the public system? At present I am thinking of arriving at 30 weeks, so would I be able to get into a Melbourne public hospital by that time?

    3) Any tips to navigate the public system, and "gotchas"?

    4) Any other options that would be more practical in my case?(new country, being alone, various unknowns)

    I know some of these questions can be answered directly by the hospitals (which I'll try to), but before I do that, I am looking for some real life experiences (to avoid last minute surprises) regarding the public system. I need the info to plan accordingly, for child birth in an unfamiliar system, so any feedback would be appreciated. It's an exciting time for me, but I am also a bit nervous

  2. #2
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    I would personally be going fully public (RWH in Melbourne is great - that's where I went). Would you even be able to find a private OB when you got back to Oz? There are plenty of great (and free!) OBs in the public hospitals. In fact most of them do both private and public work so you get for free a person that someone else pays for!

    The hospitals gets booked up every fast but I am certain they cannot actually turn a pregnant woman away for care. I think you will just need to speak to them when you get here, or try calling before you arrive. They definitely can't turn away a woman in labour but obviously you would want to visit before that!

    Where will you be living?

  3. #3
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    You could also look at a private midwife for your care from 30 weeks until arrival (and they can usually attend birth although they don't have clinical rights).

  4. #4
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    I'd say you would be in the tens of thousands of dollars easily

  5. #5
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    @kw123 just wanted to say I know for a fact our local public hospital emergency department does turn away labouring women - because they have a maternity suite which needs to be booked into before you are 8weeks or you don't get to birth there!
    They will send you on to the next hospital (approx 30min drive away) to have the bub...

  6. #6
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    That is crazy.

  7. #7
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    @kw123 : I'm flexible to live anywhere in Melbourne, because would be renting an apartment. Preference is in the Parkville, area but I am not sure how early I need to be in to even make into the public system. What's the typical cut off point? In the worse case scenario, can I just show up in a private hospital then, and they would take me at any week?

    The reason I wanted to have a private OB is because I think I would be comfortable dealing with a single person who I can reach out at any time. From what I've researched so far is that for a full public setup, you don't have any control on who you get to see. I am just a bit concerned that I don't end up dragging myself around in circles especially when I am alone. Hubby will take time off in the final weeks to be with me, but there would be a couple of weeks when I might be entirely on my own.

  8. #8
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    Private hospitals get just as booked I believe...

    If you have the money then go for it I guess - I just definitely wouldn't (and I have used the public system).

    Shared care with a GP or private midwife would give you that continuity of care, or maybe a student midwife or doula?

    Good luck!

  9. #9
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    If you're not eligible for Medicare or the country you're from doesn't have a reciprocal arrangement with Australia for health care, wouldn't you have the same costs whether you birth in a private or public hospital?

    I work in a hospital (albeit not in maternity care), but if we get a patient in the above situation they get billed fully, even on the public wards.

    Eta. Sorry just read that you will be eligible once you arrive in Australia. I would think you'd struggle to book in with a private ob that late. Kw123 had some great suggestions for continuity of care via a private midwife etc. You may need to touch base with the nearest public hospital for any checks you may need.

    All the best
    Last edited by RastaMouse; 01-08-2014 at 11:51.

  10. #10
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    Would your baby be covered by Medicare if born in australia? If not, another thing to budget for is if any special care or NICU might be needed. That will cost a fortune if bub isn't covered.


 

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