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Public or private?

  1. #1
    ppaul85 is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Tseung Kwan O

    Public or private?

    Hi, I am 4+ weeks pregnant and want to go for a normal delivery but confused over choosing a public v private one. Also, what are my options for a good public hospital as I am living in TKO?

    Pls help, all suggestions are welcome.

    P.S: My husband does have insurance cover.

  2. #2
    Aquarian is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Hong kong

    For TKO your hospital is United Christian in Kwun Tong.

    As for public vs private delivery, it comes down to a) money and b) baby

    A) private treatment can cost up to $200k (sometimes more if there are complications). Some women can get it for around $100k but a lot comes down to what bed is available on the day you are admitted (shared vs semi-private vs private). Even if you want shared (to save money) if there are no beds available you'll have to go semi-private or private - which costs a lot more. Also if you want a c-section or need to be in hospital for longer than usual it costs more. So you need to know how much your insurance will cover and how much you will be willing to pay for yourself.

    B) if your baby is high risk and may need special treatment you are better in a public hospital - your baby would get sent to one anyway as private hospitals aren't set up for serious problems.

  3. #3
    charade is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2010

    I live in TKO and delivered twice in the public system at United Christian Hospital. I think you can also choose to deliver at Queen Elizabeth. Some have also managed to register at Pamela Youde in Chai Wan. The advantage of Pamela Youde is that it is possible to get a private room after delivery and they won't backdate your charges as per private fee as happens in other public hospitals that offer private rooms. So for the change of getting a private room, you can try to register at Pamela Youde if you are willing to make the trek there for antenatal appointments.

    If you have insurance, it depends how much cover you have. If the entire thing is covered, I would go private and I would choose one of the hospitals on HK Island because they are more expat friendly. My choices would be Matilda and Sanitarium, but given the distance from TKO, I would choose Sanitarium as its a bit closer to get to.

    The advantage of these private hospitals is that you get to see the same doctor throughout (unless you're very unlucky and your doc is on leave during your delivery) and generally they are more supportive about accommodating the parent's requests - such as different positions during birth. Also, you are assured of an epidural. If you have a c-sec, the private doctors seem better skilled at doing a very small cut; even for episistiomy they might be neater and use better thread. If it's your first baby especially, these things will make you more comfortable.

    If your coverage is lower, you can consider some of the private hospitals on the Kowloon side. I have heard good things about Union Hospital and Dr. Yu kai-man who also sees patients at a clinic in Po Lam. For my second baby, I registered at Baptist with Dr. Jimmy Mak. I really liked the doctor; however, be warned that they are catering to a primarily local Chinese/Mainland market so their policies are tailored accordingly. Thus, they tend to formula feed initially, at least after c-section, so if you want to breastfeed right away, you need to make the effort to insist on it. Not sure what it's like in terms of breastfeeding at Union.

    I paid a deposit at Baptist and would have delivered there had I not ended up needed an emergency c-sec and realised that the cost would be way out of my league. So I went to United Christian for the second time too. I had had antenatal appointments and tests in the public system since my insurance covered only hkd10,000 and I wanted to save whatever I could for a private delivery.

    The reason I wanted to go private for the second was that several little things bothered me the first time around at United Christian. I was not concerned about not knowing my doc at delivery but the one I got was really a meanie. I didn't end up getting an epidural because apparently one needs to insist on it early on. The loos sometimes were not that clean, not horribly dirty but pee splashes on the seat, dirty sanitary pads coming out of the bin. My baby would gnaw at my breast for hours on end and I would have appreciated having my husband or mum there to help a bit.

    Alas, private was not to be for me and the second time around I had a much more positive experience at UCH. Maybe because I had a c-sec, maybe because as a second-time mum I knew what to do. I am very grateful to UCH and the amazing nurses and midwives there. They provide an amazing service for the price they charge.

    However, if I had the money, I'd go private and choose a doctor and hospital that best suited my budget and my needs.

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