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Birth Experience Public and Private

  1. #1
    BLWC is offline Registered User
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    Birth Experience Public and Private

    Hi Mums and Mums-to-be, I'm currently doing research on having a baby in Hong Kong and the differences between the public and private systems. I had my son at Matilda so I know what that's like but I'd love to hear from anyone who has had a baby at any of the other hospitals in HK. Any information you could give me on your prenatal care, the birth and hospital care, would be much appreciated. I'd also like to know why you made the choice you did (ie. public or private) and whether or not you would make the same choice again.

    Huge thanks in advance!

    http://typhoonsandtantrums.blogspot.com

  2. #2
    yonge is offline Registered User
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    I delivered my first at a private hospital (Canossa) and will be delivering my third at QMH, which is public. I have to say that my experience at the private hospital was generally negative. They were doing massive renovations when I was there - apparently to upgrade the rooms for foreign parents able to pay top dollar. I was there for a week and it gave me a headache. Also, they were unhelpful when it came to breastfeeding. The nurses would run in every hour saying that the baby was hungry, so I would ask for the baby to nurse. They would give me only a short time before taking him away again. I learned later that although I had explicitly instructed them not to give formula, they went ahead to give him glucose water! No wonder he was trouble nursing with me! They never offered to watch/help me breastfeed and sent me home with a big container of formula, which they had given him after I found out about the glucose water, telling me I obviously didn't have enough milk. Took me six painful weeks to wean my baby off the formula completely. All this for HK$120,000 at that time (5 years ago)! And by the way, I ended up nursing my first for 17 months and my second for 20 months, until they were completely weaned!

    On the other hand, my experience at QMH so far has been excellent. My first had jaundice which was noted by both the private doctor as well as the public one at the local Maternal and Child Health Clinic. The latter referred me to QMH who later noted that he also developed an inguinal hernia at 10 weeks at a routine visit for jaundice. They immediately referred him to A&E, then paediatric surgery and had him scheduled for an operation the next morning. Everything was done in less than 24 hours for a non-emergency surgery. I was able to room-in with my baby in a double room, but there was no one in the other bed. The entire cost of the operation including rooming was HK$450.

    I was also hospitalized earlier this year for food poisoning. As I was pregnant, they ran the full range of tests, which I had looked up in advance on-line to know what to expect. They did not cut any corners for their public patients. I was there for less than 24 hours and the entire cost was HK$100.

    I have been back for my antenatal visits, scans and tests and there has been no charges levied for these standard services. I needed some additional tests for a condition that I have, which they have charged HK$150 each time for two times so far, but have been told I will no longer be needing them. When I give birth, admission charge should be HK$100, plus another HK$100 per night, so for a vaginal delivery (no matter how complicated), the recommended stay is 3 days/2 nights, so it should be around HK$300. For a c-section, the recommended stay is 5 days/4 nights, so it should be around HK$500. I've had friends ask to stay longer without any issues. There are no additional charges for doctors, anesthesiologists, consumables/disposables, etc., for which you will be charged per item!

    Also, please be sure to register the birth of your child at your local public Maternal and Child Health Clinic. They will administer all the necessary vaccinations as well as perform the development assessments for your child. They also have a lactation nurse as well as a nursing room, which you can visit anytime. I was living in Wanchai at the time, so I was going to Tang Chi Ngong MCHC, where everyone knew me and my baby by name! They were ever os patient with me and allowed me to come in anytime to weigh my baby to confirm that he is thriving while I was breastfeeding.

    I'm sure this is a place for private hospitals, but it wasn't the place for me. I will never go back to a private hospital - at least in Hong Kong.

  3. #3
    tsubasa is offline Registered User
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    I heard that your husband can be with you for labor and delivery at private hospitals but not public- is this true?

  4. #4
    yonge is offline Registered User
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    My husband could not be with me in the labor ward, but he was with me in the delivery ward in the public hospital. The labor ward is "open" - each room containing about 8-10 beds, but the delivery ward is a single-bed room, so privacy is not an issue.

  5. #5
    thanka2 is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by yonge View Post
    My husband could not be with me in the labor ward, but he was with me in the delivery ward in the public hospital. The labor ward is "open" - each room containing about 8-10 beds, but the delivery ward is a single-bed room, so privacy is not an issue.
    See, that is actually one of my major problems with the public hospital. I do understand their reasons for having it this way. But, in my case, I was in labor for 43 hours and if I had been in the public hospital in Hong Kong, I would have been separated from my husband for 40-41 hours of that as I wouldn't have been put into the "delivery room" until I was fully dilated and ready to give birth. As my birth plan was designed with my husband as my birth coach--and his job was very important to keeping me calm and focused for this labor (which was 100% drug free and without intervention or IVs)--it would have been impossible to go throughout labor in this way unless I had his and my mother's support in labor. So, if you only end up with a few hours in the labor ward separated from your husband or your birth plans don't include him being a major player in the process then I can understand how it's okay. But, for me it is unacceptable for me to be separated from my husband as he would be my advocate throughout labor and I believe that to maintain my rights, wishes and dignity I definitely need an advocate there to do any negotiating to that might need to be done--as afterall, my job in labor is to give birth, not negotiate with hospital staff.

    For this reason, I am thankful to have been able to give birth in the States with my son and give birth in a private hospital in Hong Kong this time around.

  6. #6
    chuckles is offline Registered User
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    Hi, Just booked into QMH as a private patient. My husband really wanted me to be in a bigger hospital just in case anything went wrong. I was told today that my consultant can not gaurantee who will deliver the baby its whoever on call that day/night. As a private patient you pay for everything, I am wondering would i be better off going as public patient as would save us alot of money? I am a first time mum/ newish to h/k and a late starter so any advice would be greatly appreciated

  7. #7
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    nicolejoy is offline Registered User
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    Actually, you go to the delivery room when you're 3cm dilated, not when you're ready to push. So the majority of active labour is in the delivery room.

    With both my girls, I had to have pitocin so the whole thing pretty much was in the delivery room. With the 2nd, I was getting some pretty decent irregular contractions and I was alone in the labour ward overnight - but I can't say I really missed my hubby that much actually. And if I did, I could have always walked with him outside of the labour ward.

    Chuckles - I wouldn't bother with QMH as a private patient personally. I don't think that the care is that much better, and the cost is a LOT more expensive!! That's just me though...

  8. #8
    mummymoo is offline Registered User
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    chuckles, the admission bed and the labour room, OT including staff (all including medical) are exactly the same as for the public patients. It is only post delivery that you receive your private room or shared (2 in 1 room), but the post natal ward is usually really, really packed and it is rather nice to have a bit more peace and quiet after the birth.

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