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Am I entitled to low cost delivery at public hospital?

  1. #1
    chosun is offline Registered User
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    Am I entitled to low cost delivery at public hospital?

    I have worked in HK for 3 years and have got HKID card. However, I am not yet a permanent resident. I am about 5 months pregnant and think about whether to deliver in private or public hospital. My HK friends told me that I am not entitled to this benefit and if I go to public hospital, I will end up paying the same cost as delivering in a private one.

    I am very confused and would appreciate if anyone can help advise me on this.

  2. #2
    rani's Avatar
    rani is offline Administrator
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    If you have an ID card you can deliver in a public hospital. If you stay in the general ward the charges are a few hundred, but if you ask for a private room than the cost is more or less the same as a private hospital.

    Read this thread on pregnancy costs

    Pregnancy Costs
    Founder of GeoBaby.Com

  3. #3
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    carang is offline Registered User
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    you do NOT need to be a permanent resident... you must have a valid HKID card... that's it... nothing more.... !!!!

    i was hospitalised 4 or 5 times throughout my pregnancy... the last time was for over 2 weeks...my total cost, including all ante-natal check-ups.....less than $3,000

    you pay $100/day, $50 for registration... then i think a little more after the baby is born(because the baby is a patient too)...

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    chosun is offline Registered User
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    Rani/Carang

    Thank you very much for your info. I will definitely go to a public hosiptal. Any idea, how many people are in general ward at QM? Do they allow husband to accormpany wife during delivery?

    I have heard that prenatal check ups at Tsan Yuk can be quite frustating. What is a procedure to follow if I were to go for check ups at private clinics and deliver at QM.

    Many thanks for your help. It is grately appreciated especially when I don't know where to go & get info.

  5. #5
    terry is offline Registered User
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    I gave birth at QMH in Sept last year. We didn't have insurance and I thought I would see how the public system went as it was my first child and I had no expectations. I did go to a private OB (Dr. Dawkins, he's excellent) however as it was our first child and we wanted to have no concerns or confusion (re: language barrier) about any aspect of my pregnancy. At about 32 weeks I registered at Tsun Yuk for checkups and to be honest I found them a huge waste of time. After being weighed upon arrival I sat around for about 1 - 1.5 hours to go in, have my stomach measured and listen to the baby's heartbeat and then out within 2-3 mins, then wait for another 30-45 mins for my next appointment!! Obviously if you are not seeing another OB then these appointments are vital however compared to the attention (and service :) at a private OB I disliked this whole process. ANYWAY, the delivery at QMH:
    PROS: During actual active labour in the labour suite the staff were FANTASTIC, very professional, very calming and I felt as though I were in capable hands the whole time. I was in a lot of pain and they were polite but firm with me regarding pushing, sitting, etc etc.
    CONS: Was not yet 4cms dilated when I reached the hospital but in a LOT of pain and the staff would did not offer me anything for a long time, until my screams were disturbing the nurses and other patients in the ward. They wouldn't give me an epidural either until I was in the labour ward and for that I had to be 4cms dilated :(
    I really felt as though I was left to fend for myself (with my husband) until I could get into the labour suite. I did take the offered Pethdaine but at that stage the pain was too severe and it did absolutely nothing!
    Ended up gettting a spinal block instead of an epidural once in the labour suite as they didn't want to administer me one as I was thrasing around too much (in agony!) They did thrust the gas upon me but as far as I was concerned it was doing nothing, though my husband felt rather giddy!
    After the birth I felt rather overwhelmed and am sorry to say that unless you speak Cantonese there is no support regarding breast feeding or anything at all i.e monitoring the nappies for wet ones and poo's, how to properly feed, where th shower was, what to do, couldn't bath bthe baby, the physio classes were only in Chinese........no real help. FYI - there are about 6 in each ward and be warned - as all of the women in my ward were Chinese and not breastfeeding they had a lot of sleep during the day without their babies and chatted on their mobile phones A LOT until about 1am both nights!!! No doubt I was just unlucky...

    The staff were all lovely (except for one awful night shift nurse but at those hours who can blame them :) but there just wasn't enough support or help I felt for a first time mum, plus they were VERY strict regarding the visiting hours for husbands and parents etc.

    In all, the actaul birth was an easy experience but the labour before and the 2 nights after were not at all pleasant to say the least. After all of this my husband and I have decided to take out insurance for number 2 and go to the Matilda. PS The food at QMH is bloody awful, pack your own and have your partner bring you the rest :)

    Good luck and I hope this has only been helpful and not too offputting!

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    chosun is offline Registered User
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    Terry,

    Thanks so much. Your advice is so informative. I am also a first time mom and I definitely need support from my husband. I have no insurance and I am thinking that I may do check ups at private (as I need detailed guidance and moral support), but will deliver in public hospital (as I don't know if my case will turn to be emergency??? and the costs at private seems exhorbitant).

  7. #7
    JennyB is offline Registered User
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    I had a more positive experience at the QMH but can certainly identify with some of the points made above!

    Agree you don't miss much with the public antenatal appointments. They are obsessed with the woman's weight which modern research has shown is irrelevant to most women's pregnancies. (I probably gained more weight than I needed to overall because they told me to eat more because I wasn't gaining enough weight early on...) I also didn't find them very able to respond to the questions I had. Such as how can I tell the difference between Braxton Hicks and the onset of labour? I would have thought that would be a very common question but they had no idea what I was talking about (and I expressed it in a dozen different ways to get around language problems). They also put red lines through lots of things on my birth plan, saying they wouldn't be allowed at QMH, whereas everything ended up being allowed so I didn't even find the staff at Tsan Yuk very informed about procedures at QMH. But it's a good idea to register at some point 30-36wks so that they can have your records on file.

    I welcomed the visiting restrictions at QMH because this reduced the noise in the wards somewhat. The wards can be noisy but I can put up with that to save myself 60-100K! It's like whether you fly economy or business class - of course economy is a bit uncomfortable but it's over before you know it, and you get the desired end result.

    I didn't find the staff unsupportive. I was having trouble with painful latch-on and the nurses would come around and help whenever I was about to breastfeed, or I could buzz them. I would say that they were far from breastfeeding experts, however - they told me there was nothing wrong with my latch-on, whereas I got better advice from a LLL leader once I had left the hospital.

    Also, to avoid long hours labouring in the general ward (where visiting restrictions apply), I would recommend hiring a private midwife or doula who can supervise your labour at home for as long as possible, where you can be much more comfortable and your labour can progress more smoothly than when you arrive at the hospital. I had my mother do this because she is a doctor who has delivered babies in the past, and was very glad I did because I was in labour for 30hrs altogether but only 6hrs in the hospital (went directly into the labour suite) - if I had gone to the hospital earlier I would have spent long periods on my own and they would have probably wanted to give me induction drugs or a caesarean for "lack of progress".

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