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Giving birth to multiples? Ditch private and go public.

  1. #1
    JayJay is offline Registered User
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    Giving birth to multiples? Ditch private and go public.

    I just wanted to give this bit of advice to all parents expecting twins/multiples here in HK:

    Don't bother paying the deposit and booking into a private hospital to give birth. Register at your nearest public hospital as soon as possible and go there for delivery. You won't regret it.

    If you want to go to private doctors for checkups, then by all means do it.

    Consider my experience:

    My wife was pregnant with twins. We registered with QEH and we also booked a spot at St. Teresa. Earlier this month, my wife's water broke. She was 3 months premature.

    Obviously, we called an ambulance to get to QEH. Within an hour upon arrival, the twins were vaginally delivered and will be staying in the NICU for at least 2 months.

    Now, if we had gone to St. Teresa, things would have been quite different...

    1. St. Teresa probably wouldn't even take us in because it's an emergency. They would likely just send us off to the nearest public hospital. (They actually have a sign on their info desk that tells people to don't bother going there for medical emergencies.)

    2. Even if St. Teresa takes us in and delivers the twins, they probably don't have a NICU or don't have space in the NICU. So they'll transfer the twins to the nearest public hospital.

    3. Let's assume St. Teresa has a capable NICU and has the capacity to accept our twins. That might not be good news. From a recent newspaper article, I read that one day at a private NICU costs $10,000 per child. Does anyone have insurance that can cover the cost of twins staying at a private NICU for 2 months? That's $1,200,000!

    I suppose if you're lucky enough to be carrying multiples to full term, then great. Your babies probably won't even need to spend a day at a NICU. Then it's up to you to decide where to give birth.
    The question becomes: how confident are you that your babies won't need a NICU?

  2. #2
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    nicolejoy is offline Registered User
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    My daughter was just in NICU for four months for airway issues - - but the number of twins that went through while we were there was staggering! Twins and higher order multiples really DO have a MUCH higher rate of coming early and therefore needing NICU. If your baby (or babies) come before 34 weeks, I don't think that the private hospitals would accept you so you would HAVE to go to a public hospital as the private ones would not accept you anyway. It is definitely a good idea to at least register at the public hospital so they will have your details on hand anyway and you wouldn't be a new patient (although it's not NECESSARY), but I do think that most private hospitals would reimburse you for medical reasons such as prematurity, so you wouldn't lose anything if you did want to book a private hospital too... and that way you can go there if the babies AREN'T early...

  3. #3
    penelope is offline Registered User
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    Plus you can actually elect to have a c section at public hospital when delivering multiples. Even if your babies are both vertex which was my case you can choose the c section. I was booked for one but my twins decided differently...
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  4. #4
    JayJay is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by nicolejoy View Post
    ... but I do think that most private hospitals would reimburse you for medical reasons such as prematurity, so you wouldn't lose anything if you did want to book a private hospital too... and that way you can go there if the babies AREN'T early...
    Be careful and read the fine-print when paying the deposit at a private hospital. St. Teresa used to refund the deposit if you deliver early. This isn't the case anymore. Under no circumstances will the deposit be refunded.

  5. #5
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    nicolejoy is offline Registered User
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    Really? That's rough - I have always heard that they would only refund for medical reasons, not if you change your mind. Maybe some of the other private hospitals aren't so strict? I'm not sure since I've only gone public anyway...

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