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Decisions, decisions, decisions - help needed!

  1. #1
    Lisa1980 is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    HK island
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    Decisions, decisions, decisions - help needed!

    Hi everyone,

    I'm new to this forum - joined today
    I currently live in London, am 19 weeks pregnant and am moving to HK in January (baby is due end of March). I need to prepare for the birth of my baby (1st one eeekkk) and also move before the baby arrives (twice, double eeeek!). At the moment i feel quite relaxed but dare say the panic will soon set in! I imagine we'll live in HK island - at least for the first year.

    I need advice please...
    [LIST][*]Names of good private hospitals - I'm a bit concerned that a thread on here said that some private hospitals were booked already (for end of March!!) - I was planning on organising care when I arrived but am thinking that I should book now (i can't access public services as i'll technically be a tourist - my partner and I aren't married);[*]Doctors / gynaecologists / obstiatricians (??) i currently receive NHS maternity services so there is little choice and I certainly cannot choose a doctor - so this process is completely unfamiliar - how should i access/choose a doctor ? Should i do this now or in HK? Who's good? (i'm planning a normal hospital birth;[*]Maternity nurses - experienced, specialising in breastfeeding / education - can anyone make a recommendation;[*]Good antenatal classes - yoga, educational, breastfeeding, parenting in general.


    I think that's all for now. The forum looks great and generally i can't wait to move! I just need to sort out a few minor details...:-)

    Thx.

  2. #2
    AmyH is offline Registered User
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    Dec 2008
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    Gold Coast
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    Hi Lisa1980,

    I will try to answer some of your questions but gave birth in a public hospital so cannot advise you on the private sector much!
    From previous posters here it seems like you need to book in to private hospital as soon as you find out you are pregnant to stand any chance of getting a confirmed booking early on. A lot of people go on waiting list for the private hospitals but do get confirmed later on.
    At the top of this website there a tab called directory and in there is an option for health/fitness if you click in there is a list of all the private and public hospitals in hong kong and also a list of OBs that you can choose from.
    I would suggest that you call or e-mail one of the doctors to see if you could pe-book a bed in a private hospital before you arrive in hong kong. I am not sure if this is possible but it is worth asking.
    I am not sure if midwives deliver babies in private hospitals - I think you have to pay for the OB to be there so they usually see you through all the appointments and then deliver the baby.
    There is a company here called Annerley midwives who a lot of people go to with regards to birthing classes, breast feeding and also LLL (for breast feeding) Their details will also be in the directory. Annerley may be able to advise you if midwives can eliver in private hospitals.

    Good luck with your pregnancy and move to hong kong!

  3. #3
    Portia is offline Registered User
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    Lisa1980
    Another thing you need to check with the private hospitals is how much deposit you will need to pay as you have said that you will be technically a tourist. I think I paid $20K deposit for the Adventist but I am a HK resident. I think the mothers from the Mainland pay something like $40K and that might also apply to you as you will not be a HK resident. I'm not sure of the answer to this, but someone else might.

    Health visitor/lactation consultant - I can recommend Yvonne Heavyside. She was a health visitor in the UK before and has been in HK for quite sometime. She also teaches baby first aid courses and antenatal classes.

  4. #4
    Singstar is offline Registered User
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    Mar 2009
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    Olympic, Kowloon
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    Hi Lisa1980

    Congrats and good luck with your move! If you are planning to have your baby in a private hospital then you will need a OB that covers that hospital. I can recommend Dr Patrick Chan - he will deliver in the Matilda, Adventist and Canossa - which are 3 private hospitals on HK Island. He delivered my baby this year at the Adventist and is a great doctor!!! The health system here is not like the UK - more like the US (I am from the UK so was totally naive when I fell pregnant here). Choosing a doctor is done on your own research or other people's recommendations. I chose Patrick as there was a lot of positive feed back on this site and others about him. He is a very patient doc and is pro natural (some docs in HK are not) - there are threads on this site discussing good OBs which may help you.

    As for booking into the private hospitals I know that Matilda you need to book by 8 weeks, Adventist by 10 weeks and not sure about Canossa. A lot of Expats that deliver in private go with the Matilda but it is very expensive and popular - not sure what your chance are of getting in but I know they improve if your OB tries.

    If you are unable to get in (do not worry) - the Queen Mary is a very good public hospital on the Island - but your OB will not come with you and you have whoever is on duty that day.

    Not sure if you health insurance will cover you but without an HKID I know it can be quite pricey.

    Hope some of this helps :)

  5. #5
    yonge is offline Registered User
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    Apr 2003
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    I delivered my first baby at Canossa and will be delivery my next (3rd) at Queen Mary Hospital as a public patient. My second wasn't born in Hong Kong. Comparing the two experiences, I would definitely go public from now on. The waits are just as long at popular private clinics as at public clinics. While it's true that I see a different doctor every time, the great thing is that all my visits, scans and tests are uploaded into the system and more easily and immediately accessible than those from a private doctor. Also, private doctors and hospitals in Hong Kong are not as mother/child-centered as the ones at public clinics/hospitals. I felt "pushed" to have a last-minute C-section by my private doctor and the hospital kept complaining that my baby was hungry and pushed me to give formula. When I refused and asked simply to have the baby with me more often to nurse, they gave him glucose water without my permission! It took me 6 weeks to wean my first child off formula and build up my milk supply! Also, if you have any major complications, the private hospitals will send you to the public hospital anyway, as only the public hospitals are equipped to handle them anyway.

    Health insurance for public care is unnecessary because all ante-natal visits are free. I think it'll cost you HK$1 to register your child at the local Maternal and Child Health Clinic, where he will get all his vaccinations and development checks for free thereafter. I think it'll cost you HK$2 to register yourself when you're pregnant so that they can assign you to the appropriate hospital. Ante-natal visits, scans and tests are free. Visits to the Emergency room for any reason is capped at HK$100 per entry and an additional HK$100 per night if you're there for multiple days.

    Health insurance for private care is expensive and most will not cover maternity and child vaccinations costs. It is a rare employer these days that actually offer health insurance that cover these costs.

    Another resource I would recommend is La Leche League - they were the ones that helped me to breastfeed my first child successfully (as the private hospital was completely useless in this respect). They're very helpful and kind and will come to visit you in your home for the cost of just their taxi fare if you want someone to sit with you. On the other hand, every MCHC will have a lactation nurse from whom you can also consult for free, but you would have to make your way there.

    Welcome to Hong Kong and enjoy having your first child here!

  6. #6
    Lisa1980 is offline Registered User
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    Hi, thanks so much for all the advice - all very useful and helpful. I've been here just over a month now and managed to sort out somewhere to live and have been confirmed in a hospital :-)

  7. #7
    Portia is offline Registered User
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    Welcome to Hong Kong Lisa! Which hospital did you choose?

  8. #8
    banane76 is offline Registered User
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    Welcome to Hong Kong Lisa! Did you sort out a doctor and hospital? Definitely check out Annerley or Yvonne Heavyside! Both are excellent with their support for new moms!

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