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Birth Experience Public and Private

  1. #9
    thanka2 is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2009
    .................................................. ................
    Last edited by thanka2; 12-01-2010 at 01:11 AM.

  2. #10
    BeaMae is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    pok fu lam
    I delivered at QMH a month ago in the public section, and the care was very good. It's true that you go to the delivery room at 3 cm, not when you are ready to push, and you can leave the labor area any time before then and go out and walk with your partner (I labored at home as long as I could before going in, which I would recommend). Our insurance would not have covered private care so it was not really an option (our total bill was $250HK), but if your insurance will cover it why not have the comfort of a private room? But the public ward is fine, and if I were to have another I would not hesitate to go there again. Just be sure you are clear with them about your birth plan and if you want an epidural you have to tell them when you are admitted so they can run the proper tests. Do not wait until you get into the delivery room or you may not get it.

  3. #11
    seethelight is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    hong kong island
    How are the doctors and nurses in public hospitals? For those of you who gave birth there, how much did it matter to you that you had to deliver with the doctor on duty (and not of your choice)?

  4. #12
    penelope is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    hong kong
    For me I really didn t care.
    For my first, after a long and painfull labour and 3h of pushing I just wanted it OUT!! :)) He was delivered by a midwife. The doctor came in a few times during the 3 hours.

    For my twins the labour was 2h from the water breaking to the first one being born. I was happy they were delivered by a doctor and not the taxi driver...

  5. #13
    nicolejoy's Avatar
    nicolejoy is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    North Point
    The last thing I was thinking when the baby was coming out was "Are you a qualified doctor or only a midwife?"

    If there are complications a doctor will be there. If it's routine, it doesn't matter if it's a doctor, a midwife, or even someone not qualified at all really!!

    I had a "decent" experience in the public system two times. Of course it wasn't as comfortable as the private hospitals, but it was good enough and my complaints were nothing about the medical aspect of things, more to do with the visiting hours and things like that... bureaucratic stuff...

  6. #14
    PurpleFlower is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Hong Kong
    Same as Nicole - no complaints about the medical aspects and no concerns about not knowing who was going to deliver my baby either. In fact, for my second, me and my husband spent the majority of the time playing cards in the Starbucks at QMH. Contractions suddenly became very strong just as I was about to admit myself into the labour ward, so much so that I couldn't stand up. QMH staff were super efficient - came and wheeled me into the labour ward, got me checked and dressed into hospital gear, transferred me to delivery ward and out came baby. All of that happened in 20 mins and I can not be more thankful to how the staff managed the situation - it was all very calm and controlled. I would have no hesitation to go back there again. The ONLY reason why we wouldn't is if we decide to store the baby's cord blood, from what I understand, you cannot do this via public hospitals.

    As for pre-natal care, I hated the long waits with the public system. Hence, I cancelled a lot of appointments with them and just went with private obs for check ups.

  7. #15
    Liquorice is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Hong Kong
    I gave birth recently at the Prince of Wales (public hospital) by cesarean section. The experience was okay, but I wouldn't do it again. My husband and I are already looking into insurance so that we can go private next time.

    Overall, the quality of the physical health care was good. However, the lack of explanation, communication and considerate bedside manner was very difficult for me. Especially for a first baby and for a first cesarean section when you are very apprehensive and need a bit of TLC.

    A post delivery summary of the advantages and disadvantages that stood out most for me. Might be useful for other people in their considerations.

    Disadvantages / concerns
    - A trainee surgeon undertook the delivery without supervision. It turned out okay but it caused me a lot of worry leading up to the operation (I found out just a week before that she was a trainee).

    - It seemed there were many other trainees / junior staff in the room using me as a bit of a practice patient. For example, I had to have several IV lines inserted into my hands which took many failed attempts from two people to insert (leaving me with significant bruising all the way down my arms from attempted IV insertions that were abandoned). In the end the anaesthetist told the two people to stop because it was causing too much distress and he did the IV lines smoothly himself.

    - I had asked in my birthing plan to have the procedures leading up to the operation and during surgery to be explained to me so that I knew what was going on. I was told shortly before the operation that this would not be possible. As it turned out, the anaesthetist did try and do this on behalf of the surgeon and the other team as well as his own work but the other members of staff (around 7 or 8 people including the surgeon) hardly spoke to me during the entire procedure. Without the anaesthetist I would have had absolutely no idea what was going on.

    - The appearance of the wards and the staff uniforms as well as the hygiene of the toilets gave me cause for concern (e.g. dirty, stained old uniforms, the toilets were pretty dire etc.). Though the operating theatre was a very sterile and clean environment.

    - They wouldn’t allow anyone to visit me after the delivery when I was on the post natal ward. On pressing, they allowed my husband to visit me and the baby for 15 minutes but would not let my mother in at all until visiting hours - which are only two hours a day and not for another 3 hours after she arrived at the hospital. They wouldn’t even let her in to see me for 5 minutes.

    - Language difficulties proved to be some issue. For example they wouldn’t bring me toilet paper for a bedpan and for quite a long time (around 3 or 4 hours) they would not bring me any water despite the fact that I was very thirsty and could not get out of bed myself. I think both of these things happened because they didn’t understand what I was asking for (she kept saying there wasn’t any water).

    - Nobody explained anything about my babies health or the vaccines they were administering and I had no choice to consider or turn anything down (for example, many western doctors believe a day old baby shouldn’t be given the hep B vaccine and give an option to do it when the baby is stronger). I asked to see the paediatrician but he wouldn’t explain anything to me either.

    - I asked to see their lactation consultant on problems with breastfeeding. They said that they had one but she would be too busy to see me. On asking whether I could bring in my own lactation consultant, they would only do this during visiting hours – the only two hours a day I had to spend with my husband and the baby.

    - A smaller point but important when visiting hours are so short – my mobile ran out of battery but they wouldn’t let me use hospital plugs to recharge it. They said I would have to go down to the 7-Eleven with my battery for them to recharge it, but of course I couldn’t leave my bed so I had to wait all day with no means of communicating with my husband or family until visiting hours for them to help me recharge the battery.

    - Despite having a trainee surgeon there was an excellent anaesthetist consultant in attendance. He really helped reassure me just prior to the delivery and he also tried to explain what was going on (as nobody else explained anything or even spoke to me during the procedure).

    - The procedure/delivery was done very well in terms of physical care, despite the absence of emotional care.

    - They followed my birth plan very well in terms of breast feeding. I had read so many things about hospitals feeding formula or sugar water, not allowing access to the baby etc. The staff at the POW were very supportive about my desire to breastfeed exclusively. They were also very supportive about working with me to room-in – balancing my need for sleep with nursing and with rooming-in.

    - I asked to be discharged early, upon proving that I was recovering well, and they were very amenable to this.

    - The cost of the entire delivery was only about $350 or similar.

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