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Union Hospital - Semi-Private or Private Room

  1. #1
    fcng is offline Registered User
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    Union Hospital - Semi-Private or Private Room

    Dear All,

    My wife and I will be welcoming our bundle of joy this late November or early December 2011. With the emergence of the mainland mothers, the Baptist hospital will be declined for overcrowding.
    I'm considering UH since it is located closer to me (Tai Po). I've read the positive and negative comments for UH. But what are the updated experiences for new mothers that delivered in late December 2011 to present.
    Are private, semi-private, standard rooms regulations when it comes to visiting hours for the father, unconditional visit/hold baby upon request? Further, what are the extra charges in adition to hospital charges, and doctor fees. My wife holds a HKID which the pricing will be different from expats. Any other helpful or good tips are highly welcomed.

    Thanks in advance.
    Last edited by fcng; 04-03-2011 at 09:00 PM.

  2. #2
    ozmerc is offline Registered User
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    I'm sorry, I haven't given birth there yet, but I have booked in and found out as possible into the way the hospital operates so this is my understanding thus far.

    If you can afford it, your absolute best option is to book a private room and find a doctor sympathetic to your wishes regarding birth/post-partum period. I was initially very put off by private hospital policies, but realised that these were a lot more flexible for private room patients. As far as I understand, in a semi=private room you cannot have the baby room in, the baby will be in the nursery for the duration of the stay. This obviously places a number of other restrictions on what you can/canot do i.e. especially with regard to breastfeeding (if they have a 4 hour feeding schedule as I know other hospitals do). A private room will allow the baby to room in which gives you a lot more control over these things, and that includes the contact that the father can have with the baby. The father can even sleep over in the private rooms - there is a bed.

    In terms of price, it will cost $30K just to book your place and despite being called a 'maternity package' it actually includes nothing. Then the room itself will be from $3500 per night, plus your doc fees can range anywhere from $25-$50K for a natural delivery, probably more for a c-sect I guess. Then there are all the other incidentals which I'm sure I'll find out about later. We are budgeting at least $100K all up.

    My advice from what I have learned so far is if you aren't willing or can't to pay for the private room (assuming your insurance won't cover it) then ditch the shared room and go public. That is the advice that I have received and from what I have learned so far it seems true.

  3. #3
    fcng is offline Registered User
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    Dear Ozmerc,

    Thanks for your reply. Great information provided. My wife and I found a OBGYN that delivers at UH. His doctor fee is reasonable ($17,000.00). I'm trying for a $50,000 to $60,000 budget. The cost is slightly lower as my wife is a HKID holder. There is quite a difference between private and semi-private room.

  4. #4
    CFM
    CFM is offline Registered User
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    Hi,
    I gave birth at Union last May (not that recent I guess but I am fairly certain the policies have not changed in that time...) I had a private room and my experiences are pretty much as mentioned above - baby can be in with you whenever you like and Dad can stay too. Rooms have a fold out couch that gets turned down for you at night if you wish. There are also virtually no restrictions for visitors. You can have as many as you like, whenever you like.
    If you choose a semi-private room then the baby can NOT go to your room AT ALL. The baby must stay in the nursery at all times except in the following circumstances.....
    1) If the mother wishes to feed the baby - there is a feeding room attached to the nursery. Mother turns up and baby is brought into that room for feeding. They do run some breastfeeding support sessions here too.
    2) There are specific visiting times for the father (From memory it was a couple of hours a day in the evening) in another room just further a long from the nursery. All the fathers and mothers go there at that time and baby is brought to them. Fathers have to wear gowns and masks and sign in to be allowed in. (All other visitors must view baby through the glass window - baby is wheeled over at a certain time for your visitors and everyone can look through the glass at him/her

    For these reasons (and a few others) I chose to go fully private and you really do get what you pay for. If you want time to bond with your baby and have the privacy to do so, then you won't get that going semi-private. Having said that, $50-60K is not budgeting enough to go private. Ozmerc's estimate of $100K is much more realistic. You need to remember to budget not only for the package and the doctor's fee, but also for doctor's rounds post delivery (1 visit per day for you and one pead's visit per day for baby) Also you may need to consider if you end up having to have c-section or epidural - that adds to the cost and the cost for EVERYTHING is HIGHER if you have chosen private. Your budget would cover the private package and the private doctor's delivery fee and perhaps the private room costs.....but that is it.....and there is so much more that you will have to pay for.....even if everything is smooth, easy and goes as planned!
    BTW - I am a HKID holder (expat) who paid for everything myself (no maternity insurance coverage) The cost for all HKID holders is the same.
    I have to say that my experience at the hospital was great, although I don't think I would have enjoyed it had I not been in a private room. It really depends on you and your wife's desires.
    Let me know if you want more information.
    Good luck!

  5. #5
    ozmerc is offline Registered User
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    CFM - interesting to hear your feedback. They double the cost of everything if you have a private room, so my doc will charge $50K instead of $25K! I am in the same position - HKID holder, but no private insurance.

    Something I am only considering now are all the extra associated costs. I just realised that going into early labour or having any complications could result in a huge unexpected cost, say for example if your stay was longer than anticipated or the baby ended up in the NICU. I'm also concerned that the cost of additional drugs that may be required (something that can be beyond your control) would be itemized and charged. I feel like that extra worry of unknown costs could potentially be of significant concern in this sort of situation, where sometimes circumstances can change rapidly and unexpectedly. I didn't think about it when I initially booked private.

    My current stance is that if there are ANY complications - for example I have a partial placenta previa which can result in a scheduled c-sect if it doesn't move up enough - there is no chance on earth I'm going private because I know the costs could blow right out beyond my budget. Even so, I'm still considering sticking with public because I still have a number of concerns about going private, not the least of which is the cost.

  6. #6
    megan2008 is offline Registered User
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    I had my child at Union but not in a private room. She was born five weeks early and was in their NICU for a couple of days and the cost wasn't that much more. I think a couple thousand extra. The doctors and nurses said that we could transfer her to Prince of Whales if the costs started to get high. They also kept me informed as to how much things were costing. Hope that helps.

  7. #7
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    Gataloca is offline Registered User
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    As someone has pointed out, they double the cost for everything in a private room. So if you doctor regular fee is HKD 17K, he will charge your around 34K. I had my baby at UH 9 month ago, stayed in a private room, and my bill was almost 100K.

    Also your baby can room in when you stay in a private room, but he/she cannot stay overnight unless you hire a private nurse.

  8. #8
    ozmerc is offline Registered User
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    Gataloca - I believe the private nurse thing is an official policy, but they don't always enforce it as far as I understand. At least not for foreigners who request not to have one. I can't even begin to imagine what on earth this 'private nurse' would do apart from be generally awkward and get in the way!

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