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Problems booking a private hospital for delivery March 2012

  1. #1
    katyhuk is offline Registered User
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    Problems booking a private hospital for delivery March 2012

    We are relocating to HK in mid January 2012, I am due to give birth to my 3rd child in March 2012. My husbands HR dept informed us of the fully booked status of hospitals in HK so I have been in touch with a few OB's in order to get them to book a hospital for me. The problem that I am facing is that they are all telling me that the private hospitals are all full and they will try and get me booked in somewhere but it will be very difficult if not impossible! Has anyone had the same experience, what exactly does it mean?? Will I be able to go to a public hospital? Should I look outside of HK to deliver? I have a 4 year old and 1 year old and the prospect of a split family situation is not ideal. Nor is flying from the UK to HK with 3 kids under 4 for 18 or so hours after the birth! Thanks for any advice/info, reassuring words!!!

  2. #2
    elle is offline Registered User
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    Well, as you have already found out, the private hospital booking system pretty much sucks and is even worse if you are not in HK. Best advice for getting a spot if you were not able to book when you were 5-6 weeks along is to find a doctor who is what they call "resident" at the hospitals you are looking at and see if they can get you in. Try May Mok at the Womens Clinic in Central. She has a good relationship with Matilda and is (or was last time I looked into it) a bit less busy than some of the other docs.

    "Worst" case scenario is you deliver at a public hospital. If you are here on a dependent visa you will be eligible. Just make sure to get your HKID card as soon as you can after arriving in HK and go through the registration process with the hospital in your area (the public hospital you would use is determined by the hospital catchment area where you live). A public hospital delivery won't be luxurious, but you can leave in 2-3 days after the delivery if all goes well. There are lots of posts on here about delivery in the public system. The jist of it is that you will get good "medical" care but there are more restrictions on visiting and birthing options (no elective c sections, etc.) and you will be in a ward room with 6 or more others. If you have had a prior c section, they will in almost all cases perform a c section for the next delivery. I know several people who have delivered at public hospitals and all was fine (and ready to get out of there as soon as they could). Also, if you were to have real complications you would be sent to a public hospital anyway because they have all the ICU equipment. Public hospital delivery is very inexpensive, HK100 per day I think. My friends who have delivered publicly have used the money they saved to hire a night maternity nurse for the first month or so after the birth, which was great help on all accounts. Good luck and you will definitely be able to find more useful help on this site.

  3. #3
    katyhuk is offline Registered User
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    Thanks Elle, I feel much better for your information!

  4. #4
    meimeid is offline Registered User
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    One other option if money is not a problem for you and if you really prefer private care and room, is to go to the private clinic at QMH. Costs are comparable to private hospitals. You won't get to do an elective C-section.
    The care is great though, and they encourage breastfeeding and your baby rooms in, but if you need some rest they will happily take the baby. Food is better than public ward and rooms are really comfortable. I had a great experience there. Also it gave me peace of mind that QMH handles all complex cases of other hospitals anyway.
    Downside is that during labour your options for active labour are probably much less than at private hospitals. (walking around etc).
    For this private clinic you don't have to be in the catchment area of QMH. It depends on availability of the doctor you choose.
    Just one more option to consider.

  5. #5
    charade is offline Registered User
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    Yes, public is always an option and it is a decent option which is always there so you don't have to worry. Also while the private hospitals on HK Island tend to be booked up very early, there might be space at the ones in Kowloon - Baptist or Union. You can call or in case of Baptist email the maternity departments to check, and then look at doctors who deliver at those.

  6. #6
    mummymoo is offline Registered User
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    I agree with meimeid, there are 3 hospitals which do the private in a public hospital thing. QMH, PWH and QEH (just google these acronyms and HK). They seem to be on par cost wise with the private, and you are probably more likely to get in as the demand for them is not as high as a fully private hospital as some of the benefits of a private hospital might not be there....guarantee of your doctor being there for the delivery, private room before you actually give birth (only after), food (only average in my opinion) ect but its probably the best place if you have a complex case (and want to go private).

  7. #7
    meimeid is offline Registered User
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    Actually, QMH private clinic does guarantee a private or semi private room in a separate ward, and your doctor will be there at delivery, because you pay these crazy rates. They offer something different than QEH, where you can't have this. Seeing the doctor for checkups is also in a different department than where public patients go. These appointments were very extensive, sometimes up to one hour even (at end of pregnancy). So in general this option is more like a real private hospital.

  8. #8
    katyhuk is offline Registered User
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    Thanks everyone I feel much better. My health insurance covers the cost so it would be nice to have the luxury of fully private but its not essential. Dr Alex Doo and Dr Danny Leung have both said that they would accept me as a patient and are trying to book the hospital for me so fingers crossed!

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