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Checkups in HK, delivery overseas?

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    akachan's Avatar
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    Checkups in HK, delivery overseas?

    As I am sure is the case with many of you, we have an international family and are not local to HK. I hope I can get some advice from others in similar situations!

    My wife is Japanese and I am American. She is pregnant 12 weeks now, first time mom-to-be. Unfortunately, the company I work for provides abysmal insurance coverage and NONE for pregnancy or ante-natal and delivery care. (Dutch company, if you're curious). So, with the high cost of delivery in HK we have decided to have the baby in Japan. The national health insurance provides lots of incentive now and the government gives cash-back "bonuses" to women having babies (birth rate is low in Japan now) So we are planning to do our ante-natal checkups in HK for cenvenience and then go back to Japan in the last month before the due-date and deliver there.

    Has anyone done this? I have heard that some doctors may be inclined to order unneccessary tests to make up a bit of the money lost on not getting the delivery costs. But I don't know if that is true or not.

    Any experiences or advice? Thanks so much!!

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    you should check with the japan side, i've heard that for canada, you have to be in the country at least 6 months before birth to qualify for the healthcare sys

    have you considered the public hospitals in hk, they're not bad at all (see other threads on geobaby)

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    Actually there are many factors including family, etc. that have already decided that the birth must be in Japan. There are no problems with the residency/healthcare system as you mentioned. We have that part all worked out.

    Now we just hope to hear from people that have had ante-natal care in HK and then delivered in another country.

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    canadianinhk is offline Registered User
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    I didn't deliver in another country but I had private ante-natal care and delivered in the public system. I just told the doctor up front that this was my plan. He was fine with it and as far as I can tell he didn't send me for additional tests etc.

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    thanka2 is offline Registered User
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    I can't speak about the experience of having a baby in Japan but I the first 6-months pre-natal checkups here in HK and then gave birth in the USA.

    You always have a say-so about whatever tests your doctor prescribes or orders for you because you are the one who ends up paying for them. Some doctors really try to persuade you to get certain tests that you may or may not feel are necessary. The best thing you can do is research and find out what tests are standard and what tests are usually only used in special or high-risk cases. Your wife's age will also play a role in determining which tests are performed.

    In our case, I was in my early 20s when I was pregnant and the specific doctor I went to kept emphasizing how she really wanted to perform the earlier test for Downs Sydrome (I think before 5-months-pregnant). She kept pushing the issue with us until we finally just told her, "Look, at my age, the statistics say the likelihood of me giving birth to a baby with Downs are already quite low...and secondly, whether our baby has Downs or not, we don't even care to know--at least at this stage because it doesn't affect the choice of whether we will go through with the pregnancy or not--no matter what, we're not aborting this baby." She let it go after that.

    There were other tests that she recommended or pushed for but we always showed up for our appointment well-prepared with information about what tests are standard. Overall, we had a couple of ultrasounds done with her. Another test that we had to have done was checking for Thalassemia, which is one of the most common blood disorders in HK. However, since my husband who is HK Chinese and I, who am caucasian, come from drastically different gene pools, the likelihood of our child being affected was already a pretty low chance. Anyway, those tests revealed we both have normal iron levels in our blood.

    In fact, to test my glucose tolerance level (a standard test starting at about 6-months pregnant) we didn't even go to the doctor but went to an independent laboratory that does a 2-hour glucose tolerance test (there are so many in HK and the price is often cheaper than a doctor--if you want a specific recommendation, PM me). You usually don't have to get a doctor's prescription to get most medical tests done in HK. If you know the name of the test you need done you can get it done here and don't have to go through the "middleman" doctor to do it. I've found that the amount charged by the doctor for certain tests is sometimes 2 to 3 times as much as the tests cost at an independent lab. Just something to keep in mind.

    We just kept all of our medical documents in a separate binder, including a doctor's note of approval for air travel and any other things related to pregnancy. This made it easier when we went to the US to give birth because we could just hand everything over to our midwife and the hospital staff and then they had an idea of where we were at health-wise. They were all satisfied with the tests we had done and I didn't have to take any other additional tests there to complete my file.

    We were also in e mail contact with our midwife and the hospital staff while we were in the States and got specific recommendations for tests that need to be done from them. Yeah, so, just know what you REALLY need to get as far as tests go and even if doctors pressure you or have a negative attitude toward you, just stick to what you know.

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    Thanks everyone for the helpful insights!

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