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newly arrived in HK: recommended doctor near Lai Chi Kok, and other questions

  1. #1
    Deed is offline Registered User
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    newly arrived in HK: recommended doctor near Lai Chi Kok, and other questions

    Hi all,

    I am new here and thank you for reading this post.

    My wife is presently 4 months pregnant and she is flying to join me next week in HK. We have just settled our first rental, in Lai Chi Kok.

    1) I am wondering if there are good doctors recommended near this area?

    2) good private hospitals that you would recommend? I am thinking we will make bookings at both private and public hospitals.

    3) what do I need to do to get my wife registered in public hospital? Given where we stay, which public hospital she will be directed to?

    4) Finally, is there a practice of hiring a midwife to take care of the mother and baby for the first 1 month, here? is there any online resources for that? Given both me and my wife are ethnic Chinese we would like a Chinese midwife if possible.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    carang's Avatar
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    1) no idea
    2) if you book both, you will be paying a non-refundable deposit at the private hospital (provided you can get a bed at all).
    most people opt for the Matilda, Sanitorium, Baptist and Adventist, it seems to me. beware that it will cost upwards of $100,000HKD to deliver in a private hospital such as Matilda and that doesn't include any pre-natal care.
    3) public hospitals are time consuming but a good option as medical care is excellent, but bedside manner is a little lacking.
    i'm not sure which gov't hospital you would have to go to. the best thing to do is to call the hospital authority and ask them where to go and what to do.
    4) many local chinese women have this. i'm married to a chinese man, but thankfully, he did not insist on this. they are called Pui Yuet ( i think) and you should be able to find other threads on here about them.

    good luck and congratulations on the move and the baby!

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    Deed is offline Registered User
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    thank you Carang,

    2) I have no idea about the non-refundable deposit part. sounds like I am pushed to go for the public option given it is quite impossible to get a private bed at this point. thanks for the good advice.

    3) can you elaborate a little why bedside manners are lacking? The crowd noise? Can I get my wife to stay in a single bed ward by paying a little more in public hospitals?

    thanks for your answers. I wish others here can recommend me a good doctor around where I stay though.

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    carang's Avatar
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    3) yes, you can opt to go "private" in a public hospital, but the costs would be similar to what you'd pay in a fully private hospital.

    what i mean by bedside manner is that the nurses and doctors are over-worked and under-paid. some can be only about the medicine and not about the comfort of the mother.

    noise from adjoining people can sometimes be a problem. for me (I've had two kids delivered in public hospitals) it wasn't a big deal as i was only there for 3 days(for delivery). i took ear plugs and an eye patch and i was fine.

  5. #5
    charade is offline Registered User
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    You may still get a private hospital booking at Baptist or Union (since you are on the Kowloon side, these might suit you). The deposit at Baptist is HK$6,000 (much more manageable to forfeit if need be) and the overall cost is around HK$60,000 for a natural delivery - though could go upward if special treatment is needed.

    My doctor is Dr. Jimmy Mak at Baptist - I'm liking him so far - but it's in Kowloon Tong which might not be the most convenient for you. I also heard good things about Dr. Shell Wong in TST.

    I delivered by first baby in the public system last year. It's okay considering the price. You can be assured that they are medically competent and will not push you into unncessary procedures (like a c-section unless needed) and are pro-breastfeeding. The nurses and midwives were great. I hated the doctor on call when I delivered - she was rude and rough in her examinations. Her two minutes of cervical exam were more painful than an hour of labour. However, they're on rotation so I wouldn't hold her behaviour against all public doctors. I also did not get an epidural when I requested one - I was told that I could get one if I requested one within a certain time frame, I did during that time frame and they made all manner of excusing including the doctor telling 'the pain's not that bad'.. a bigger reason for me to go private. I was in a ward but really, I was so tired the noise was not a big issue... well, at some point the woman in the bed next to me was talking on her mobile at the top of her voice non-stop for ages but anyway one is there for only a couple of nights.

    You can check your catchment area for public hospital registration on the Hospital Authority website.

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    Quote Originally Posted by carang View Post
    3) yes, you can opt to go "private" in a public hospital, but the costs would be similar to what you'd pay in a fully private hospital.
    Thanks Carang.

    I have read (on this forum and others) that HK public hospital health care is excellent. Given that and the fact that it costs a limb to have baby delivered in private hospitals, why would any HK ID holder still want to go for private hospital delivery?

    trying to work out the pros and cons here. thanks.

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    carang's Avatar
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    why do they go private?

    1) can choose your doctor
    2) the doctor that you saw during your pre-natal visits is the same doctor that you see while in labour
    3) private hospitals (at least Matilda) is more like a 5* hotel than a hospital
    4) private hospitals, generally, are a lot more tolerant of patient requests than public hospitals

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    (going on from Cara's points above)

    5) it's the only way to have an elective, non-medically necessary C-section (many women like this option, even though I personally see no sense in it as vaginal birth is much better for both mother and baby)
    6) if you have private insurance that will cover it, why not?
    7) if you have specific details about what you want during labour such as walking, showering etc, these may be better accommodated in private hospitals. Public hospital often encourages the mother to "lay down and shut up" during labour (although some midwives are better than others)

    All that said, I chose to go public with my two daughters and don't regret it. My medical insurance wouldn't have covered the private hospital anyway, and I needed the superior medical care as my 2nd daughter was in NICU for 4 months. I have frustrations with the public hospitals here (I have a LOT of public hospital experience) but I don't think that the private is worth the extra $100,000 cost.

    One thing to note though - IF your wife strongly wants to breastfeed and/or room in with the baby, some private hospitals have policies that actively DISCOURAGE this. At some private hospitals, you are not allowed to room in unless you have the private room. Some will really push formula feeding in the first couple of days - particularly if you have a rough start to breastfeeding. They are not knowledgable about breastfeeding and are ignorant (or don't care) that they are actually creating more problems for the mother by some of their practices. Matilda is one of the few private hospitals that do have good breastfeeding/rooming-in options. I personally would not go to any other private hospital because that issue is a "make or break" issue for me. I'd rather be in a public hospital which allows rooming in pretty universally than to be in a private hospital which is more comfortable but my baby is not allowed in and I have to go to a designated "breastfeeding room" to feed her.

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