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Having a baby in HK - your experiences

  1. #1
    BLWC is offline Registered User
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    Having a baby in HK - your experiences

    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
    lesliefu is offline Registered User
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    Please pardon me for asking, but why are you considering changing hospitals? If, like me, you had a bad experience with Matilda, then I can totally understand, but if your experience was good then I seriously wouldn't change a winning plan...

    Anyhow, to answer your question...

    I had my second at the HK Sanatorium and Hospital and the experience was fabulous (costs similar to Matilda)...the mid-wives are great and the maternity floors are new so everything is like living in a 6 star hotel - very modern. Hope this helps! :)

  3. #3
    banane76 is offline Registered User
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    I had my baby at Queen Mary Hospital with prenatal care with a private doctor and then a few checkups at the public clinic. I chose private prenatal care because I wanted to fully understand what was going on at my checkups and I know the public system is a bit rushed and not very explanatory. The general ward when you check in at the hospital is ok, I had one horrible nurse (who looked like she was 19), but the delivery nurses/midwives were awesome! We're due in April next year and are doing the same again. After we got home, I had Hulda from Annerley come for postnatal visits and that was really great which helped me with the breastfeeding and settling into home with a new baby. Public is soooo much cheaper and we just couldn't justify the fortune they would charge at Matilda even though I've heard some great things about people's experiences there. My baby spent at week in special care on antibiotics so while she was there, the nurses were really helpful in the postnatal ward with helping me with pumping and such.

  4. #4
    City Jammer is offline Registered User
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    I have been through both Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern Hospital and Queen Mary Hospital. Frankly, if you have no complications, then the prenatal care is okay. Delivering and the days that followed delivery were nothing short of nightmares. Private doctors were the same (I've been through six of them, all pretty well-known). If I ever get pregnant again, I will certainly not have my baby in HK.

  5. #5
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    nicolejoy is offline Registered User
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    I am friends with City Jammer and I know how bad both of her experiences were in her situations.

    I have had two babies at QMH and have mixed emotions about them. My first pregnancy was routine, but then I had premature rupture of membranes at 39 weeks and had to be induced. Baby still came 36 hours after the rupture so she was taken to Special Care for observation. It was quite difficult for me because I wasn't prepared for that. I found the breastfeeding help in Special Care was abysmal - and as a first time mum I really needed a bit of help. But I do understand that in the Special Care/NICU ward, they are primarily there to look after sick babies rather than to give postnatal support. I found the postnatal ward to be extremely noisy and it was difficult to sleep. And the food was awful too. But other than that, the medical care was adequate, the nurses were generally nice enough, I had no serious problems. And the price can't be matched. That was the reason we decided to go there in the first place. I'd heard that QMH was the best public hospital so I used my FIL's address to get in there as I live in the catchment area for Pamela Youde.

    Second time around, I'd heard a lot of good things about Pamela Youde as they have a "semi private" option that QMH doesn't have. It costs about $7000 in total - so completely affordable, and you end up in a much more quiet area and don't have to share the bathroom with 100 people ;) I wanted to go there so I used my real address that time around ;) Unfortunately though, we had complications that resulted in us being transferred back to QMH. My experience the second time around was similar to the first really, but my daughter has been in NICU for nearly three months now so I have that "added experience". I've had a lot of frustrations with the hospital - mainly because they are over cautious and are really taking their time with my daughter. Their opinion though is that they want to minimise every risk - but I think that some of that is done at a cost as well. And I really think that my girl could have/should have been home by now. BUT on the other hand, at least I know that she's safe there.

    Next time around (if we have another), depending on the pregnancy, we may move back to Australia. My husband and I are carriers of the genetic disease that my daughter has so we have a 1 in 4 chance of it occurring in future pregnancies. I definitely think that if our next child also has the same condition, I'd want that baby to be born in Australia at a hospital with more experience in her condition. But if it's a normal pregnancy again, I would consider "spoiling myself" and going to Matilda. But who knows, when it came time to paying, my "tightwadness" might kick in and I'd end up at Pamela Youde instead ;)

    Although I don't know the difference in cost of NICU between Hong Kong and Australia. In HK, we're paying $50 a day - so it's been about $4000HKD so far. Not bad when you consider what it would be costing the hospital to have her there!! The price is definitely a bonus...

    Oh and I also saw numerous private doctors for my prenatal care. The best for a routine pregnancy was Dr Patrick Chan, the best for a complicated pregnancy was Dr Cora Ngai. (or Dr Lam, whatever his full name is - although I only saw him for my routine pregnancy, but he does specialise in the more complicated stuff too...)

  6. #6
    BLWC is offline Registered User
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    Thanks for the responses. I guess I should explain why I have asked for your feedback, and tell my own story. I'm putting together an article on having a baby in HK for parents who might be overwhelmed by the options here. I had my baby at Matilda and my experience was fine. I had a traumatic experience with a previous pregnancy that ended in miscarriage. I got the only obstetrician available on a Friday night and ended up spending a weekend at Canossa hospital. After that I took out private insurance so I could choose my obgyn and hospital. It was 100% worth it for us and I will do the same next time.

    I've had a lot of help from friends who have had babies here (mostly at Matilda and QMH) but I was curious to know what other mums have experienced, and what the other hospitals here are like . Thanks again for taking the time to tell your stories.

  7. #7
    yonge is offline Registered User
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    We had our first child at Canossa hospital with a private doctor - we will not be going back to either again. The waits at the private clinic can be long - sometimes 2 hours and the consultations were always short - about 15 minutes. I had a scan with every consultation, which I suspect was because my insurance company could be charged separately for them - average of HK$1,000 per visit 6 years ago. Upon detection of a condition that I have - Inter-Uterine Growth Retardation, I was advised to have an elective C-section or "risk the possibility of a still-born", which is a horrible thing for a first-time parent to hear. I only learned later that the doctor had another patient at the same hospital scheduled for an elective C-section that same morning. The hospital was being renovated throughout my one-week stay. The nurses were constantly running into our room telling us that our baby was hungry, so I would ask to nurse him. They did not offer to help/watch me breastfeed, but keep telling me that I didn't have enough milk and asked to give him formula. When I told them no formula, they gave him glucose water without telling me! Upset, I made the exclamation, "You mind as well be giving formula, then!" which they took as cart blanche to give formula. They sent me back with a big tin. It took me six weeks to wean my baby off the formula so that I could breastfeed him 100%. That being said, the private room was otherwise comfortable and the food was acceptable. The total bill was over HK$100,000.

    On the other hand, the post-natal care which I received from the public Maternal and Child Health Clinic at Tang Chi Ngong was fantastic. The nurses and doctors are all very up-to-date, much more up-to-date than many private ones I think. They were very encouraging in terms of breastfeeding. There's even a lactation nurse and a breastfeeding room on-site. I would go there pretty regularly - unscheduled, to get advance. They knew I was a nervous first-time mom, so they kindly allowed me to come down anytime to weigh the baby so that I could prove to myself that he was thriving with my breastfeeding. Except for the initial registration of HK$1, all visits were free.

    Our second was born outside of Hong Kong. However, the private doctor and hospital there were much more pro-mother/child, so I was encouraged and allowed to deliver him naturally by induction. Now that we're expecting our third, I'm going to Queen Mary Hospital's high risk ward for my ante-natal visits and Tsan Yuk Hospital for my ante-natal tests and scans. The visits are usually about 1.5 hours in total, but that is because I am weighed, have my urine test, blood pressure taken and consultation at different stations. Given my history, I was asked whether I wanted to deliver him by elective C-section or vaginally and I elected the later. He is due any day now as I'm in my 38th week. All visits, tests and scans have been free. I have had an additional non-stress twice, which cost HK$150 each time.

    Although I haven't delivered at QMH before, I have had only positive experiences with them for other hospitalizations. Tang Chi Ngong had referred my eldest to QMH for jaundice. On a routine visit for jaundice the pediatrician noticed that he had an inguinal hernia at around 10 weeks. Within 24 hours, he was referred first to A&E, then to pediatric surgical, where he stayed overnight and was operated laproscopically the next morning. I remain very impressed both by how professionally and seriously they took what is not considered a life-threatening diagnosis. We stayed in a semi-private room, but as there was on one in the other bed, it was essentially private. A cot was brought in for me to stay with him. The total cost was HK$450.

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