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  1. #1
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    Default Private v Public

    GF and I are still talking about Public or Private, what are experiences of going private and did you get a big gap bill at the end?

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    i did both. ds was public. as i has an emergency cs and i found the whole experience upsetting and traumatic, we decided to go private for dd. we actually had the cover with ds but just never used it. all my friends who were having babies had gone public with no issues so i assumed it would be ok for me too. if i’d had a vaginal delivery it probably wouldn’t have been so upsetting, but getting sliced open by someone you don’t know and feeling rushed and distressed at 3am was just not what i wanted.

    with dd, i had an elective cs and it was like night and day compared to my experience with ds. i felt supported and comfortable, i loved my ob and the whole experience was just so nice. even though it was surgery i look back at the experience with such fondness i get teary (even now haha).

    i just think it depends on personality. i’m someone who likes to feel in control and supported and the public system wasn’t able to give me that experience. hands down, i should’ve done ds privately but then maybe i would have still had a rough time. i’ll never know. but going private with dd was the best choice for me.

    cost wise, you’ll be paying the private health insurance premiums plus all the ob costs. the private health really only covers the in hospital stuff. my ob had a management fee of about $4000 which i paid around the 20 week mark. her first appmt was about $600. the rest were bulk billed (or incorporated into the cost of the management fee) and all the big ultrasounds cost extra too ($200-$300 each from memory).

    i checked my private health benefit statement after dd and the total hospital costs covered was just under $12k.

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    Mason98 (29-05-2021)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mason98 View Post
    GF and I are still talking about Public or Private, what are experiences of going private and did you get a big gap bill at the end?
    I’m guessing you’re in catchment for GCUH? She might be too late depending on how far along she id, but I’d be exploring their midwifery group practice option.

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    Mason98 (29-05-2021)

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    Quote Originally Posted by MLadyEm View Post
    I’m guessing you’re in catchment for GCUH? She might be too late depending on how far along she id, but I’d be exploring their midwifery group practice option.
    Yeah GCUH is the closest.
    She's about 9 weeks now is that really too late?

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    I did public in Victoria and it was fantastic. Zero complaints.

    I was at a fairly quiet hospital though.

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    Default Private v Public

    Quote Originally Posted by Mason98 View Post
    Yeah GCUH is the closest.
    She's about 9 weeks now is that really too late?
    Hopefully not. I know our MGP midwives book out really quickly, so I’d suggest seeing her GP and getting a referral ASAP if that’s how she wants to go. There’s a lot of evidence to say that continuity of care models offer women, particularly first time mums, a lot of support. You have your primary midwife who will see you for all your antenatal care, your birth and 6 weeks postnatal. They work within a team of other midwives who you will usually meet throughout your pregnancy. If your midwife is not available on the day of birth, then you’ll get one of the midwives within the team (who you’ve usually already met) looking after you. It’s basically the gold standard of midwifery care.

    Private care is ‘similar’ in the sense you have your own obstetrician who you see throughout the whole pregnancy. When you’re in labour one of the birth suite midwives will care for you. Depending on what is happening in the labour, your obstetrician will usually turn up for the delivery, deliver bub, placenta and then do any stitches that need doing and then leave again. You’ll also potentially pay extras for epidural, paediatrician depending on whether they charge a gap fee. These fees can be variable. If it’s after hours, a weekend etc then your obstetrician may not be available. They usually work with other obstetricians to cover their on call. More often than not, you won’t meet this doctor until you’re having bub.

    There are pros and cons to both. If your GF has no risk factors and is considered a low risk pregnancy, then an MGP model of care could be her best option. If there are risk factors and it could be a complicated pregnancy (existing medical conditions etc), then she *may* feel safer with an obstetrician. In saying that though, GCUH is a tertiary level hospital and I’ve heard their facilities are fabulous. If any complications were to arise, she’d be in the best place and would potentially have her care transferred there anyway if you went private.


    ETA I will also say that as a midwife I went private. My sister nearly died having my nephew and I was terrified of having an unknown doctor be the one to come in if there was an emergency that even remotely mirrored hers. As it was I ended up with an emergency caesar and it was performed by an obstetrician I’d never met before (she had only started with the group after I went on maternity leave). She was lovely and my scar is barely visible 4yrs later. I went back to the same obstetrician the second time and was thankful as I had DS at 34 weeks.
    Last edited by MLadyEm; 29-05-2021 at 20:20.

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    Mason98 (29-05-2021)

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    My #1 and #2 were born public and #3 born private.

    #1 very sick and complex baby, was sent from local hospital to a tertiary hospital. I had incredible continuity of care due to his health and I had a fairly positive experience given the situation. I was however not supported at all in my PP care, I didn’t have my baby in with me (ICU) and despite him being my first they didn’t care to help me learn expressing or really care about my level of bleeding despite a ventouse delivery and PPH. They wanted me out ASAP.

    #2 was born at a smaller and my local hospital. It was an incredibly traumatic experience. They didn’t have any continuity of care (antenatal with GP and only see OB a few times all up) and it led to my previous PPH being disregarded and I had an extremely large PPH shortly after delivering. Their process and protocol for such emergency was sloppy at best and trauma inducing. I was in ICU after theatre for almost 48hrs and only one nurse felt fit to allow OH to bring baby to me, with her to allow bonding and start BF. ICU however were amazing, were helping me pump and supportive of my being so upset.

    #3 we had moved away from above mentioned small town, I had PHI and utilised it. I had great continuity of care antenatally and PP. I had a scheduled section due to my PPH and severity of tearing and scarring x2. It allowed them to stem and control bleeding and allow me to have a really positive birth experience despite the intervention. They had Physio and LC come by daily at a min and also my OB seen me daily for the 5 days I was in hospital. The nurses were patient and didn’t seem overworked. My OH was welcomed to stay which made for a great bonding experience.

    I would definitely research the hospitals you have around you. I would be looking toward midwife led programs if they are avail to you as I have really heard amazing things about their continuity of care (obviously a big positive in my opinion), find out what they do and don’t offer and also what services they provide (is an OB at the hospital at all times, do they have a 24hr anaesthesia specialist).

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    After having a lot of miscarriages and then getting pregnant again and being in the care of an amazing OB who also doubled as a bit of a fertility expert, I didn't want to not have him deliver our baby so we self funded private as we didn't have insurance.

    It was actually not too bad cost wise, our OB management was about $4500 (with about $500 back from Medicare) and the hospital was about $3800 for 4 nights then about $1500 for C section delivery and paed, and anesthetist.

    I would pay it again as I've heard horrible stories about being treated as a number in public where as we had round the clock midwives helping us learn everything and meals and it was priceless having my husband stay with me.

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    I went public each time, tertiary hospital - for me the clincher was the fact that I knew if things went seriously pear shaped I would be taken to the biggest hospital anyway.... so why not be there to begin with, closest to the people who deal with the most serious situations and the equipment smaller hospitals don't have. I did explore options - I saw a couple of private obs and asked them what would happen in a serious emergency during delivery, and both confirmed it would be an ambulance to the public tertiary hospital.

    I couldn't be happier with the care I got.

    Eta: I don't know about public hospitals elsewhere, our women's and children's hospital wing here in Canberra is quite new, ironically the rooms are nicer than what you get if you go to the most popular private place.
    Last edited by Kalina; 29-05-2021 at 23:03.

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    Mason98 (30-05-2021)

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    I've only gone public, but I paid for a private OB with my first. Unfortunately, when I went into labour it was a public holiday and the hospital decided - at that point - I was too high risk. It was a hospital in the biggest regional city in the state.... I was flown to a tertiary hospital 6hrs from my home, it was a hospital I'd never been in, drs and midwives I didn't know, and apart from df who flew with me, and mum who drove my car.... that was it. It wasn't a bad experience but I certainly didn't want to repeat it.

    #2 & 3 were public through the "women's clinic" at a different hospital - biggest one out this way. It was mostly mws with obs and registrar obs.

    I saw my gp until about 13 weeks, then transferred over and saw mws and then obs at key appointments, towards the end as I was high risk I saw the same registrar ob, who was the one who delivered my baby via csect but honestly I didn't feel I had a good rapport with either from baby # 2 or #3, (different obs) so the continuity of care didn't really help me

    The midwives were great though. The one who was with me for ds3s birth, was training/on prac and looked after me with assistance from a qualified mw when I had ds2!
    Last edited by EnchantedGrace; 29-05-2021 at 22:27.

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