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Private room, public hospital

  1. #1
    jada511 is offline Registered User
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    Private room, public hospital

    I feel so clueless with this whole giving birth in Hong Kong process. So I am going to Tsan Yuk/Queen Mary for antenatal and delivery thru the public system. Can anyone tell me, can you go public but book to be in a private (or semi private) room for your stay there? Has anyone done this/is it possible? Is anyone aware of approximate costs? Dos it give you longer visiting hours? Anything anyone can tell me about this or advice would be fantastic, Thanks!!!

  2. #2
    mummymoo is offline Registered User
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    You can not be a public patient and book a private semi-private room. The rooms are all general shared wards.

    You can however be a private patient in a public hospital (well the private part of the public hospital) which means that you are able to choose and pay for a private/semi private room, you see the same obs each time at outpatients, but they may or may not be the one to deliver your baby (they usually will try but it is not guaranteed like it implicitly is in the private). The cost is cheaper than going through the private hospitals but much much more than the public. For exact costs call the private O&G outpatient's reservations at QMH to give you exact costs.

    You should be aware and you could search old threads about this issue that a) the admission before the birth will be to the general ward (no private room), the actual labour itself will be processed as per a public patient. The only difference is the 3-4 days after the birth where you will be in the semi/private room. Visiting hours are no different.

  3. #3
    alibali is offline Registered User
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    If you want to go public for the entire process, you cannot get a private room. You will be on a ward with dozens of other moms and will have to share a bathroom. If you want a private room, then you will need to get a private doctor for the delivery.

    And keep in mind, that in Hong Kong, when you have a private room, all the other hospital/ delivery costs will have a 50% markup on the standard cost. (Don't quite know why this is, but it is.)

    Another alternative to keep costs down is to go public for most of your checkups and just "use" the private doctor for the last few checkups and then delivery- I would recommend a semi-private room or ward at a private hospital.

    As for costs, the private rooms at public hospitals are still expensive. I don't know the exact cost of a private room at a public hospital, but it should be on the Queen Mary website or you can ask for the info at your next Tsan Yuk appt.

    I hope this helps- I've had one child through the public system and one through the private system...

  4. #4
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    carang is offline Registered User
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    actually, that is not quite true. you cannot "get a private doctor" and have them at the birth in a public hospital. you have to use the doctors on staff at the public hospital, but as someone else pointed out, you may get the same dr at each of your appts.

    personally, i didn't find it worth the extra cost... we are talking over $40,000 for a private birth at a public hospital vs. $450-500 for a public patient at a public hospital. yes, visiting hours suck, food is terrible, but it is only 3-4 days out of your life... at least that's how i felt about it.

  5. #5
    Liquorice is offline Registered User
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    I agree with Carang. I delivered in the POW. I had always planned on getting a private room - for more flexible visiting hours in particular. The hospital always said that I had to wait until the day to see if one was available as you can't book in advance. When the day came they explained that I could not just pay for the private room but they would back charge a lot of the other hospital costs too, making it cost almost the same as delivery in a private hospital. Given you don't get any of the other benefits of a private hospital (such as a consistent medical team etc.) - literally just the room - then I thought it wasn't worth it at all. Yes, I didn't like a lot of things about the public hospital stay (like the visiting hours) but as it was I was only in there two days (and that was with a c-section) so I feel it would have been a complete waste of money.

  6. #6
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    carang is offline Registered User
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    i just kept thinking: what else could we do with $40,000???? i had a lot of good answers to the question and if something wasn't quite what i'd like it to be, i'd start going through it all in my head again...

  7. #7
    charade is offline Registered User
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    A friend told me that in Pamela Youde she was able to get a semi-private room when she went in for delivery and the prices weren't retrospectively marked up. It was about 1000$ a night. But not all hospitals offer this - I asked at United Christian where I delivered and they said no private rooms at all. Might be worth checking out though.

  8. #8
    mummymoo is offline Registered User
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    Actually it is a HA policy to stop the abuse of the system. I'm not sure what happened with your friend charade but if you undertake the procedure (usually the most expensive part of the treatment e.g the birth) as a public patient you can not become a private patient after the fact to enjoy the private/semi private room without the hospital back charging the costs. If this were the case a great number of patients would go this route resulting in unfairness to the general fully public patient. There is one caveat and that is IF the hospital is full and they need to decant to the private wards, if this is the case they will move some patients free of charge to the private wards but this happens once in a blue moon. Also if you really want to go private after the surgery, you can, as I have seen happen to a family friend, be discharged from QMH after the surgery as a public patient (major pancreatic surgery for cancer) and was admitted into St Paul's Hospital for the recuperation under a different doctor (but suggested by the surgeon who performed the op).
    Just the same way you can not be a private patient in a public hospital for outpatient purposes then when you go for the procedure become public (meaning you are able to jump the queue and pay very little for it), you will line up like everyone else if you decide not to pay for the procedure and pre and post op stays. If however you choose to stay private you will be able to jump the queue as there are private lists that the doctors entitled to see private patients do in their own time.

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