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Private or public Antenatal???

  1. #1
    ladypilot is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Discovery Bay

    Question Private or public Antenatal???

    My husband and I have decided to deliver at QM (purely financial reasons) and we are trying to decided if it will be worth going to a private doctor for the antenatal health care part. Anyone with past experience, please help!!!

    1. What is the difference between private and public antenatal health care? Do the private doctors perform extra scans and tests compared to the public system? Or are they exactly the same in regards to the actual health care part (and that the main difference is: in the public system you are treated more like a number and the private care has a more personal side) or is there an actual difference in the quality of antenatal care?

    2. If there is a difference, which additional tests and scans do the privates perform (for a healthy expectant mother)?

    3. What is the average cost for the Antenatal part only? If I go private antenatal, I will go to Dr. Dawkins who was referred by my GP.

    4. Will I get a comprehensive list on my 1st doctor's visit of all the tests and scans I should expect and plan for? (couldn't find one on the internet yet.

    So, in general, should I go private or public for Antenatal??

  2. #2
    carang's Avatar
    carang is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Sai Kung

    as far as i can tell many of the private doctors do scans at every visit. this is not usually for medical reasons. for a normal, uncomplicated pregnancy, the regualr scans are sufficient (usually around 12 weeks then again around 20).

    as far as i can tell the private doctors do them for 2 reasons:
    1) they earn a LOT of $$$$ from them
    2) many patients, especially first timers WANT all the scans. it sets their minds at peace and gives them something to look forward to.

    i have only ever done public, twice. i must say that the medical care was great! because i had an extremely complicated 2 pregnancies, i was taken care of by the high risk team at QMH. they were fantastic. because i was in and out of the hospital so many times, the doctors and nurses all got to know me and were therefore very good to me. also because it was the high risk team, i saw the same doctors all the time (there were 4 of them and they were interchangeable). this was great.

    if you have a normal pregnancy, you may find that the dr visits in the public system to be a pain in the butt. many of the doctors, especially the new ones are not used to people asking questions. they seem to do cursory exams and send you on your way. if you go to Tsan Yuk, you have the option of asking to see the "real" doctor and not the med students. you may wait longer, but it's worth it!

    good luck and congratulations!

  3. #3
    ELT is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2006

    I am a first time mom and I went to a private OB for regular check ups but had the baby delivered at public facilities (to save cost :) ). I found private OB much more thorough in explaining how the fetus was developing and in answering my long list of questions. The monthly scan which enabled us to see the baby moved and grew was an amazing experience too! The OB also tracked my weight and gave advices on diet and exercises which I also found useful. Frankly speaking, I don't think it made much difference to the baby's health by going to a private OB, but because this was my first time and I really am ignorant and anxious about the whole pregnancy thing, it was a better experience for ME. Now that I went through pregnancy once, if I had a second baby, I already know what to anticipate and feel more relaxed, so I might opt for public for everything.

    I guess public or private depends on what your personal needs.

  4. #4
    Matty is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Sai Kung

    Hi ladypilot,

    I did the same thing last year, delivered at QMH, but had Dr Dawkins as my OB.
    I visited Dawkins up until my 33rd week, then finally registered at Tsan Yuk and did my final visits with the public system. I also went back to Dawkins in my 36th week for a strep B test, as this is one that the public system doesn't offer.

    In total, Dawkins cost me just under $10,000 inclusive of all tests and ultrasounds. His consultation fee is $950 (if you have Quality Health Care insurance which you may, judging by your username? you will get an additional 10% discount on this) He doesn't charge for the nondiagnostic ultrasounds at your regular visits, so I think there are only 3 from memory, plus a few additional tests, that you pay for in addition to the consultation fee. So it's a nice reassuring peek at your little one!
    You also get a DVD of each ultrasound which is pretty cool. He also has a 4D machine and is happy to try for a photo if he has time.
    He will give you a printout at your first visit detailling everything.

    The medical care within the public system is first rate, but there is definate inconvience with the waits, and sometimes it's difficult to get answers to basic questions. I also had some personal frustrations and clashes with staff at Tsan Yuk that I'd be happy to PM to you if you're curious! You have to be very good at standing up for yourself and being able to say no thank you within the public system.

    It is very nice having an OB that knows you, and is only a phone call away if you have a problem.
    There were a few times I had some questions between visits, and he is always happy to reassure you.
    Even for little things like a last minute medical certificate I needed in my 34th week, saying that I was fit to fly!

    Basically, for $10,000 you see the same face each month and recieve personal care, you also have more flexiblity with appointment times and way less waiting.
    If you can afford it, I would definatley recommend private antenatal.

  5. #5
    ladypilot is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Discovery Bay

    Thank you ladies! I really appreciate your sharing your input with me. It is very informative and has helped me with some decisions.
    Thanks a mil!!

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