Forums  •  Classifieds  •  Events  •  Directory

 
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

What would you do? Public vs. Private dilemma

  1. #1
    beccadeaton is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Kowloon
    Posts
    8

    What would you do? Public vs. Private dilemma

    I have been in contact with our insurance company (based in the USA) to find out what coverage I have for pre-natal care and L&D so that I can make decisions about a doctor and hospital.

    I found out that they will cover all my costs for any OBGYN. Moreover, the hospitals that they will agree to work with include Matlida and Canossa. This means that they will cover the costs with the exception of our standard deductible (what we would pay if we were in the US).

    So my dilemma is this. My last baby was born 6 weeks early at 34 weeks (in the USA). He didn't have major problems, but he did spend 2 weeks in the neonatal intensive care unit. Although his problems were minor, it could have been worse, of course! My OBGYN in the states told me later that I would be at higher risk of having another premie with my next baby. So, I basically have the choice of going to Matilda, which obviously is lovely but does not have a NICU or going to Queen Mary, which is obviously less "nice" but has a NICU on site. Which would you choose under the circumstances?

    Thanks for your input!

  2. #2
    carang's Avatar
    carang is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Sai Kung
    Posts
    6,259
    well, if you go to matilda and you are in need of nicu, they will transfer the baby there....

    personally, i find the high risk dept at qmh to be fantastic. would your insurance cover you for private care at qmh?

  3. #3
    beccadeaton is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Kowloon
    Posts
    8
    Nope...that is the kicker. None of the public hospitals are listed as covered. Actually, I can still go there but I would be responsible for the difference between the "allowable" costs and what the hospital actually charges (in addition to my basic deductible). And in reality, I feel like if I am at QMH, it doesn't really matter if I am public or private at that point. Same "basic" accommodations, same "bad" food...etc. Both my sons were born in the US and I never had a fully private room (usually 2 beds per room). It didn't really bother me as there was a curtain to partition the room.

    I am leaning towards going to a private OBGYN but delivering at QMH. I guess I feel like if there is a chance of it being a high risk delivery, I would rather be right where the best care is. That is what it is all about right. Not the comfortable accommodations per se.

    But is is hard to pass up the opportunity to deliver at Matlida! ;)

  4. #4
    rks
    rks is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Pok Fu Lam, HK
    Posts
    7
    hi, I was having the same dilemma. I am 5 months pregnant with my first baby and am at risk of delivering pre-term. I have been seeing Grace Cheung who suggested that I see a doc at QMH just so that I am in the system. I am now seeing Dr Ben Chan at the Pvt Clinic at QMH. There is a difference in the service but I just figured that if QMH is safer for the baby then that should be priority. QMH for private patients is expensive too so you will need to figure out your insurance.

    Having said that even I do miss the fact that i will not be delivering at Matilda.

  5. #5
    AmyH is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Gold Coast
    Posts
    380
    Hi,

    I too am in the same position and decided that I would book private OB but go to public hospital for birth. My 4 year old son was born at 28 weeks and was in NICU for 8 weeks when he was born and I was also advised that the same might happen again. Luckily I have now passed that milestone and am now 32 weeks pregnant. My OB (Alex Doo) has been very supportive and has tested me for early signs of labour etc to put my mind at ease. I do not feel like I will be missing out on the private hospital experience as I feel that I would probably be getting very stressed out at the thoughts that something may still go wrong and I would then be separated from the baby while they were transferred to QMH while I had to stay in the private hopsital.

  6. #6
    beckveldman is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Discovery Bay
    Posts
    51
    I would advise consulting with a private OBGYN here about the exact circumstances surrounding your first early delivery, to do a current risk assessment for premature delivery this time around. There are many underlying causes for prem delivery that can be managed to better outcomes in subsequent pregnancies. I'm not exactly sure if you are already expecting, but even if you're not, an obgyn would welcome a planning consultation.

    I highly recommend Lucy Lord for managing high risk pregnancies, and she delivers at the Matilda. She has managed my two pregnancies: the first a 32 week very small for gestation baby (who we chose to deliver in Australia, given the lack of options here) and the second an extremely well managed 37 week full term outcome (benefited from drug therapy all through pregnancy, even so we were ready to deliver at 35 weeks at Matilda, but managed to hold on with bedrest etc. for the last two weeks).

    The Matilda does have what is termed a "Level One" Nursery (Special Care) which is opened on as needs basis and has space for, I think, 4 infants, and so actually does nominally cater for babies born at 34 weeks and over. As long as there aren't any other underlying medical conditions, Level One is usually all that is required for the average 34 weeker.

    It is useful to understand that there are three levels of neonatal care nurseries: NICU is Level Three, Level Two is often called a High Dependency Unit and Level One most often referred to as Special Care. Usually only the large teaching hospitals have a true Level Three NICU (as does Queen Mary here in Hong Kong), whereas many small privates have Level One only. Queen Mary's Paediatric & Neonatal Intensive care is actually one nursery containing 7 PICU, 15 NICU, 1 HDU and 35 SCBU beds.

    Ultimately your decision on where to deliver rests on the points that are most important to you in terms of care paradigms for your infant.

    Personally speaking, we chose to deliver our quite premature firstborn in Australia, so we could deliver at a very large internaionally renown teaching hospital with both NICU and private facilities. He spent 6 weeks in hospital, only the first day of which was actually in the full Level Three NICU, as he was stable and breathing well, thus able to be "promoted" to the Level Two High Dependency Unit where he spent the majority of his stay in an isolette. These very large hospitals actually have separate nurseries for each of the levels of care, thus it was easy for us to make the distinction that our son, small as he was (less than 3lb), actually only required true NICU cot for 6 hours, before being moved to HDU for 4 weeks and graduating to SCBU for 2 weeks prior to coming home at a robust 4? lbs. :-)

    Our decision was based on not the private facilities per se, but the paradigms surrounding the NICU and HDU outside Hong Kong being supportive of 24/7 parental access to the baby, full involvement in their care when their condition was stable and 100% support for exclusive breastfeeding of even a very small premature baby.

    Again, personally speaking, I would rather deliver a healthy 35 weeker in Hong Kong at the Matilda for the excellent quality of midwifery support for breastfeeding and full access to my baby 24/7. Purely personal opinion.

    Hope that helps.

  7. #7
    0ze_Kid's Avatar
    0ze_Kid is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    DB, Hong Kong
    Posts
    453
    I see you have covered off cover for pre-natal and L&D. Will baby be covered also as soon as it is born? This was a catch that I discovered when trying to get insurance in HK. Ended up going back to Australia for 20 days to give birth and come back because most of the insurers wanted a 6 month waiting period for the new born and I didn't wnat to risk it if something did go wrong (nothing did - but as you are doing, best to plan for everything).

    If baby is not covered or has a waiting period then you may be better off going public...

  8. #8
    beccadeaton is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Kowloon
    Posts
    8
    beckveldman - thanks for all that info, it was really helpful. My son at 34 weeks was 5lbs, 7oz, so he was a giant in the NICU. Only spent 2-3 days in the higher level (not sure it was the highest) due to respiratory distress syndrome (breathing on his own, but labored so he had a cpap for a day, then just oxygen), then the remainder of 2 weeks in the lowest level of the NICU mostly because he had no sucking reflex (for either breast or bottle) so he was fed through an NG tube while we worked like crazy to get him to breastfeed (funny...i just weaned him from BFing last week...he is nearly two now!).

    I am a natural delivery, breast feeding, be with baby 24/7 kind of mom, so that is important for me. That being said, this will also be my third baby, so I don't need as much support...just don't want them to stop me from doing what I need to do! ;)

    I did not know that Matilda had a level one facility for newborns...that might sway my decision.

    We have no idea why he was born early, although by his size and reflexes they thought he was more like a 35 weeker. I just went into labor and everything happened really fast. And my first son was born at 38 weeks, so I am expecting another one early...just hoping this time it is not quite as early!

    I already have an appt with Lucy Lord for next week, so I will talk to her and get her professional opinion.

    Thanks for all the advice!

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. public vs private?
    By matrix1 in forum Hong Kong Pregnancy Forum
    Replies: 25
    Last Post: 05-04-2010, 09:46 AM
  2. switching- public to private
    By alibali in forum Hong Kong Pregnancy Forum
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 01-30-2009, 10:03 PM
  3. Public Vs Private
    By Bubbly in forum Hong Kong Pregnancy Forum
    Replies: 28
    Last Post: 03-27-2007, 04:57 PM
  4. Private together with Public??
    By super in forum Hong Kong Pregnancy Forum
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 01-17-2007, 04:10 PM
  5. Private or public?
    By ec822 in forum Preparing for the Arrival
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 10-06-2003, 11:43 PM

Tags for this Thread

Scroll to top