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HELP-Pregnant 'Resident'- Where do I start?

  1. #1
    otterhongkong is offline Registered User
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    HELP-Pregnant 'Resident'- Where do I start?

    Hi, I have JUST discovered I am pregnant, I think about 8 weeks! I was really rather clueless to all of the signs, but am 'positive' and has been about 8 weeks since my last period.
    I am a HKID card holder/resident and have no idea where to begin with seeing a doctor in the public system here. I have gone through all of the threads as best as I could and have found so much useful information (thank you all!) but I want to get in to see a doctor as soon as possible and do not know who to call or where to begin for this first appointment with the public system!
    Are there any links I have missed here on Geobaby?
    Can anyone point me to a website which could help...or a good clinic? (or do I need to go the hospital for this?) Do they take appointments or do you just 'wait'??
    I live in Tsim Sha Tsui and would like a doctor/hospital in this area. I do not know if I will end up delivering here, as we are supposed to be heading back to the US in February, although that may be pushed forward a bit now...but I do want to get in to see a doctor ASAP to find out exactly how far along I am and get on some good prenatal vitamins, as I haven't done a THING so far and JUST discovered I am pregnant yesterday!
    Thanks in advance for your help and advice.....

  2. #2
    miaka is offline Registered User
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    Here's the website for the Maternal and Child Health Centre Family Health Service, Dept of Health:

    www.info.gov.hk/dh/telephon/mchc_e.htm

    it's a starting point. If you're thinking of going private, you'll have to go see a OB/GYN to confirm the pregnancy first. I suggest asking close friends/family for suggestions of Drs. Then the Dr can probably guide you through the process from there. Best of luck!

  3. #3
    otterhongkong is offline Registered User
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    Thanks...

    Miaka thanks so much for the link. I am a bit confused though, won't I need to see an ob/gyn either way to 'confirm' all is ok? I have just done a home pregnancy test, but really am quite uncertain as to the actual 'date' of conception, how far along I am, etc. AND if all is ok. I can do this through the public system also, right? As I am not sure how I will handle the next few months here in HK, as I am leaning towards going back to the US for having the baby, just to be near friends and family!

    IF I go public, do I have any choice in a doctor?

    Thank you so much for the help, for someone like me who knows SO little about pregnancy, and now WHAT to do, it is a HUGE help!

  4. #4
    otterhongkong is offline Registered User
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    More Questions...

    Oh, now after visiting the link I have a few more questions....
    It says on the Antenatal Checkup 'pamphlet' that you may make an appt. with a specialist once the 'confirmed pregnancy'- does this mean my at home pregnancy test? If not, where do I go FIRST to get this 'confirmed'? Because I also saw in another document that to go to the Specialist OB clinic that you need a referral from another doctor, and this is my confustion!
    I really just do not know where to start or who to call tomorrow morning to get this whole process rolling. Anyone with experience here PLEASE help or advise!
    MUCH appreciated!

  5. #5
    Wishing Tree is offline Registered User
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    Congratulations!

    Now that the home pregnancy test has shown a "positive" result, there are a number of options that are open to you when planning your next steps.

    It sounds like you would like to make use of the public system, in which case the first thing you should do is to see a doctor. Your local GP will do. S/he will confirm whether or not you are pregnant and if you are, then will refer you to a hospital within your residential catchment area. In your case, it could be the QE hospital in Jordan.

    Following this, you will need to make an appointment to see an obstetrician at the hospital. Before you go, find out exactly what you need to take with you - e.g. HKID, doctor's letters, address proof, etc. - because hospital administrators can be painfully bureaucratic, and at this point you don't need the additional stress.

    Once you have booked yourself in, you will asked to return at regular intervals so that the doctors can check that everything is OK.

    PROS: Free and regular health care from experienced and qualified practicitioners.

    CONS: Waiting; different doctor each time you visit; stressed-out hospital staff, who are not always good at NOT projecting their frustrations onto you; not much time given to patients; can give mums a "conveyor-belt" feel.

    The other option is to go private, in which case, you should ask previously pregnant friends if they are be able to recommend you to a private obstetrician. (There are many in TST). The private OB will normally be "attached" to a hospital in which s/he delivers your baby. However, in your case, this will not happen because you will be in the US by that time. Your OB will see you at regular intervals throughout your pregnancy - very similar to the practice at the public hospital.

    PROS: Health care from experienced and qualified practicitioners. Because you're paying, you can be a little more demanding of their time and expertise; one doctor will will see you through the process, which makes the relationship a lot better.

    CONS: Costs, which can be prohibitively expensive. These include the OB's own costs PLUS those charged by the hospital in which your baby will be delivered. (Even though you are planning to have the baby in the US, do bear this in mind because things can and do change.)

    Whether you decide to go public or private, you should see a doctor as soon as possible. Look after yourself and look forward to the wonderful experience of being a mummy!

    Good luck to you.

  6. #6
    miaka is offline Registered User
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    my personal experience w/ the public system wasn't too bad. it didn't bother me too much that i didn't have the same doctor every time. however, bear in mind, that i do speak canto and have no previous 'bad' experience to compare to. i'm a pretty easy going and accepting person as well. i figured, if the locals could do it. so could i. and considering the amount of ppl the public system sees, i thought they were quite efficient.

    i also did a lot of reading on pregnancy and child care which i think made the experience through the public system easier. i personally liked 'what to expect when you're expecting' (available at the library) and dr. sears' 'the baby book'. i made a list of questions i had for the doctor so i could ask at my next visit (so i wouldn't forget to ask).

  7. #7
    otterhongkong is offline Registered User
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    Thanks!

    Wishing Tree, you mention seeing my local GP, BUT I have only been here a bit over a year and have never seen any doctor! So being a HKID holder, I can just go to any GP??
    Or are there some that are specifically 'public' or govt. doctors??

    Will they do a pregnancy test right in the office or send me to a lab or something? (to the best of your knowledge?)
    And then regarding the obstetrician appt., will it be the hospital I go to for each appt.? I also saw that there are specialty clinics under the OB/GYN section/link that Miaka gave.

    Thank you both so much for the help. I really don't know many people here, and I know NONE that are pregnant or have been, so I don't have a good place to even start in getting help or advice....until I found this forum!

    I am hoping to see a doctor tomorrow or Tuesday and get into an appt. ASAP! In your experience will they do an ultrasound at this point (I THINK I am about 8-9 weeks??).

    Again, I can't thank you enough!

  8. #8
    Wishing Tree is offline Registered User
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    Looking ahead

    I went to the doctor at my workplace, who did the test for me right away. When my pregnancy was confirmed, she wrote me a referral letter and presented me with two options:

    (1) I could go public - take the letter and register at QE hospital. (My understanding for her choosing this particular hospital was that QE was in my residential catchment area, but you'd need to check whether this is true.)

    (2) I could go private - take the letter and call up any obstetrician from the list she had given me.

    I'm assuming that you still want to go public so, since you have never been to see a doctor here - lucky you! - I suggest that you walk into any clinic and simply register. (Perhaps other mums could provide better advice here.) I'm not sure whether the doctor will do the pregnancy test right away, but my feeling is that s/he would given that this is a fairly standard, non-invasive procedure. Another consideration, of course, would be whether or not the doctor had the pregnancy kit.

    I only know about the procedure at QE, but once you have registered into the hospital, you will see the OB(s) there right up until delivery. Having said that, I have had friends who have visited speciality clinics and then delivered at the "attached" hospital. With QE, however, it's all self-contained.

    Regarding your question about the ultrasound, I had my first scan a bit later than 8-9 weeks, and I did it privately, so I can't really say whether or not you will get one in the public system. From experience, QE did not encourage scans until much later in the pregnancy.

    My situation is actually quite strange because I went through both the public AND private systems, and found the experience of both to have plusses and minuses. Ultimately, however, I delivered my babies (I have two) in the UK, and because I didn't go through either of them in their entirety, my information is a little "patchy".

    I hope that you get to see a doctor today, otterhongkong. (I would find the wait absolutely unbearable, and don't know how you have managed to wait for so long!) Take care.

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