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First public appointment at 20 weeks - will I get a scan?

  1. #1
    Alabaster is offline Registered User
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    First public appointment at 20 weeks - will I get a scan?

    Hi there,

    I made an appointment at Tsuen Yuk when I was about 12 weeks, I had to wait about 6 weeks for an appointment. Then the week before my appointment my aunt passed away and I had to go abroad to her funeral. I called the clinic to reschedule, they said the next appointment will be 17th May and by then I will be more than 20 weeks, as it’s my first appointment they said as it is so late I will not get a scan! They said I had to come to my planned appointment but I couldn’t as I had to go to the funeral.

    Now I’m really worried. I’m 18 weeks right now but Tsuen Yuk wont give me an appointment until 17th May. It will be my first appointment. Do you think they will still give me scan and ll the usual tests?

    I’m almost 40 years old, I thought they would give me the test because of my age. Also my other child has congenital heart condition, I hoped that would also mean they would give me a scan. I’m so worried about my unborn baby - I feel like its so unfair that I may not get good treatment as I had a family emergency. If anyone has any information I would really appreciate it.

    Many thanks.

  2. #2
    kewpie is offline Registered User
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    If you are really worried you should see a private obgyn to get your scan done

  3. #3
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    carang is offline Registered User
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    public hospitals, i've found, like to play it safe. i'm sure if you are over 35 that you will have all of the necessary tests. but as kewpie suggests, you may also want to make a couple of appts with a private dr.

    just a quick question.... have you had no pre-natal care up until now???

    why would you not have made private appts if you couldn't get into the public system when you'd made your appt there?

  4. #4
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    nicolejoy is offline Registered User
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    I would do one of two things: a) if you don't feel that an ultrasound is essential, go to the public hospital and then let them decide. You can let them know your concerns re your age and previous congenital heart condition in a sibling and if they want to then they can scan. Is the condition something that can be heard via the fetal heart monitor or not? b) if you really want an ultrasound, go to a private doctor - that way you can get one for sure. 20 weeks is a good time to have the full anatomy scan.

    I had a daughter with a congenital condition and was given ultrasounds every 3-4 weeks throughout my pregnancy in the public system. Each scan took up to an hour and included 3D as well as 2D. When there is a need, the public system is not stingy with ultrasounds.

  5. #5
    AmyH is offline Registered User
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    I had my first appointment at the public hospital quite late (28 + weeks). They did give me a scan, but not the tests as I had no need for them. I was also seeing a private OB and having scans every 6 weeks. As others have suggested, I would contact a private OB for a scan if you are worried or if Tsuen Yuk refuse to give you one.

  6. #6
    Alabaster is offline Registered User
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    Many thanks for your replies. I have been to a private OBGYN twice, at 8 weeks and at 14 weeks for the nucal folds test, as I couldnt get an appointment in the public system.

    I can of course continue with a private doctor. Its just that I dont have insurance and its quite expensive. Plus, I want to be 'in the system' with the public hospital as I will deliver there.

    My duaghters congential heart condition (hypo-plastic left heart syndrome) was picked up at the 20 week scan when I was pregnant with her, hence my desire to make sure I get this scan.

    Any other info anyon ehas is greatly appreciated. Thanks so much.

  7. #7
    charade is offline Registered User
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    Alabaster, the thing is that the public system does not offer the 20-week scan free anymore routinely. They are offering the Down's scan, which you missed. If they assessed your condition in a prior appointment and deemed a scan necessary, then they might arrange one. But you have not even had one appointment yet, so it might be hard to convince them. You could try and get an Ob/Gyn to write you a referral letter explaining why the morphology scan might be important given your history and then pay a visit to the hospital directly and see if they will listen to you - I find that face to face conversations in English go better than over the phone.

    But because they don't usually offer that scan - they actually have notices up telling mums to do it privately - they might be reluctant to offer it to someone who is not already in their system. I'd suggest you make a private appointment for it as a backup, because even in the private system, not all ob.gyns are qualified to do it. You can cancel if the public one works out. The private morphology scan costs about $3000. Yup expensive, but it's actually the biggest expense of the whole pregnancy...for the rest of your private checks, you can find doctors who are substantially cheaper than the ones in Central even with a scan a visit if you need one.

    My experience was that once I had the private scan - at which it was detected that my daughter's kidney was dilated - and took that report to the public system, they arranged another morphology scan for me in their system the next week or so and then another one down the line to check on things. So in the worst case, if you have to do the scan privately, and a problem is detected, once you have your public appointment they will do whatever necessary and you can save on having subsequent scans privately.

    I delivered at United Christian in January 2012 and November 2010 and had check-ups at Hang Hau MCH and Tseung Kwan O Hospital.

    Have to say I'm surprised that if you call at 12 weeks, they give you an appointment only 6 weeks later. My experience was that the first appointment is around 10-12 weeks.

  8. #8
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    nicolejoy is offline Registered User
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    Another question: With your daughter, did knowing in advance make any difference to the rest of your pregnancy, or what happened to her immediately after birth? Is it something that needs to be diagnosed before birth (ie, do you need a cardiologist present in the delivery room, or other special care?) or will it be fine if it was diagnosed after birth?

    There is lots to consider and no one right answer. The public hospital has no obligation to do any scan, unless they feel it is medically necessary. So then it is up to you what to do with that. Either try to convince them it is necessary, or if you feel strongly enough that it is necessary, you'll need to pay the $$ to get a private doctor to do it.

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