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Looking for an Ob/Gyn

  1. #1
    not pizza is offline Registered User
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    Looking for an Ob/Gyn

    Hello,

    It's our first pregnancy. After reading a bit about it, we would have gone for a midwife, but our insurance does not cover it, so we have to go for a doctor.

    Is there a register of Ob/Gyn we can choose from? Any association we can get help from? Any recommendations from you?

    Ideally our doctor would:

    1. Be supportive of a natural birth, changing positions, etc. He or she should partner with us. We have an open mind, but we'd favour a midwife-like doctor.
    2. Be caring, calming, patient and supportive; have good bedside manners. Be able to smile.
    3. Be close to our home (Sheung Shui, New Territories, next to Shenzhen)
    4. We would probably give birth in a public hospital. We heard good things about Queen Mary. Is our choice restricted in any way by the hospital we choose?
    5. Speak good English. Not necessarily a native speaker, but it needs to be good. We don't speak Cantonese.
    6. Cost us less then 25,000 HKD total for ante-natal care (that's our insurance cap).

    Thanks! :-)

  2. #2
    charade is offline Registered User
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    Congrats on your pregnancy.

    I'm not sure if there is a register of Ob/Gyns but there is a directory on this site which lists some popular doctors. You might also find recommendations while going through these threads.

    My sense is that to find a doctor who meets your first criteria, it might be easiest to look among the doctors who deal with expats a lot and are usually based in Central. However, if you choose to give birth in Queen Mary, this doctor would not be able to be at your delivery. In the public stream of Queen Mary, you cannot choose your doctor and in the private stream, they have a panel, I think.

    In terms of English skills, all the doctors I have encountered in Hong Kong speak decent English and most would be classified as good. Your budget for antenatal care sounds okay.

    I delivered both my babies in the public system but went for private antenatal appointments too. For my first baby, I saw Dr Eric Lee in Prince's Building Central and a doctor at the Tseung Kwan O polyclinic (switched from Dr Lee because it was too far for me to go to Central). For my second, I saw Dr Jimmy Mak at Baptist Hospital but I planned to deliver there. All doctors were great, supportive etc.
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  3. #3
    elle is offline Registered User
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    Congratulations. Agree with Charade, you are more likely to find a doctor that meets your criteria in Central or perhaps parts of Kowloon that deal with lots of expats. Also as she notes, your private doctor will not be able to attend a birth at a public hospital with you and furthermore a number of private doctors do not accept patients that will deliver publicly (awful practice in my opinion) so that is something you should be aware of early on. Your insurance cap for antinatal care seems fine to cover private care throughout the pregnancy.

    Regarding your choice of public hospitals for the delivery, I believe that under normal circumstances (certain high risk pregnancies are referred to different hospitals) you are limited to the hospital in your catchment area, which I don't think is Queen Mary. In some cases ladies have been able to use hospitals outside their catchments by using someone else's address or something, so that might be worth looking into, but I don't know the ins and outs.

    If you are looking for a natural birth, be sure to do as much research as you can about the public hospital you will be using as you won't be able to chose your delivery doctor and different hospitals have different policies and practices, which seem to vary quite a bit. Most people I know who have gone through the public system have been just fine as long as they clearly communicate, firmly if necessary. The women I know who have had problems with public hospital births didn't make their wishes known early enough or authoritatively enough, and as long as you are prepared to advocate for yourself in the public system you will be just fine.

    Also, if you are going through the public system and have an uncomplicated delivery, consider putting aside money for a night maternity nures for the first week or two at home, get out of hospital as soon as possible (and medically safe, my secretary just checked up in under 24 hours after the delivery with her second child) (you will be on a ward and it will not be restful, quiet or peaceful) and recuperate in the comfort of your home with the help of your husband and the maternity nurse.
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  4. #4
    not pizza is offline Registered User
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    >>>> SITE ADMINS: I just realised that I posted in the wrong forum. Could you please move to a more appropriate one (I guess "Preparing for the Arrival")? Thanks. <<<<

    Thank you so much!
    Argh, I had no idea about catchment areas. I guess I'll start from my GP here and see what he says...
    We have no intention to go all the way to Central each time, but it sounds inevitable. I was hoping Sha Tin at least. I'll post what I find.
    So do non-foreigner-oriented doctors tend to go down the pharmaceutical-routine-get-the-baby-out route?

    Is it a great disadvantage in your view to be unable to have your ante-natal doctor in the delivery room?

    "Directory on this site which lists some popular doctors" - Thanks! But sorry, I cannot see it, have I gone blind? Is it under the Directory menu?

  5. #5
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    rani is offline Administrator
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  6. #6
    elle is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by not pizza View Post

    So do non-foreigner-oriented doctors tend to go down the pharmaceutical-routine-get-the-baby-out route?

    Is it a great disadvantage in your view to be unable to have your ante-natal doctor in the delivery room?
    Medical/ drug intervention and other protocol during delivery in public hospitals depends on the particular doctor (which you cannot chose and will almost certainly not know who it is beforehand), hospital policy, your particular condition, your birth plan (they will try to accommodate, within the bounds of the hospital policies and their available resources at the time of delivery) and how busy the hospital is at the time.

    For many public hospital births, if you want an epidural you need to ask for it early and insist that you get it. The anesthesiologists are often very busy. If you don't insist early you may not get it - i know many people who didn't, despite asking, because they waited too long to make the request or didn't follow up early or often enough when they didn't get one.

    Personally I feel very strongly about having a doctor that I am comfortable with performing any procedure, and in particular something like a delivery, but many many people get on just fine with the doctors they are assigned in the public system. Would probably take more labour/ birth preparation courses than I did if I knew that I couldn't chose my doctor. A particular advantage to having your own doctor doing the delivery is they know you and you can discuss how you want things to do things beforehand. But, with a proper birth plan a public hospital should also at least try to accommodate your wishes.

    One more thing to keep in mind, if you are considering a c-section, the puplic system will not perform them unless medically required - no elective option.
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  7. #7
    charade is offline Registered User
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    Hi, notpizza, to supplement a little bit – it would be easier to find someone who matches your criteria in Central, because many expats tend to see the docs there and, at the risk of great generalisation, expats, particularly from the West, tend to be keen to want the least medical interventions. Many (not all) local women prefer a c-section and this suits many doctors too.

    That said, one should be able to find a supportive doctor outside HK Island. I was seeing Dr Eric Lee in Central but found it too hard to go there when I work on the Kowloon side and live in Tseung Kwan O. I asked my Chinese friends and one of them recommended Dr Yu Kai-man at Union Hospital, who also sees patients at Tseung Kwan O. He’s super busy and I couldn’t get an appointment with him so saw a younger doctor, Dr Ivo Chen (she no longer sits there). She was pretty good, and communicated well. But I had planned to deliver at a public hospital so the attitude of the docs at the delivery didn’t matter.

    The bottom line, though, is where you are planning to deliver. If it’s in the public system, then the doctor’s attitude to the delivery doesn’t really matter, I guess, because he/she won’t be at the delivery. So basically it would be about communication skills and willingness to see you even if you’re not delivering with him/her. Again, there are some private doctors who refuse patients who won’t deliver with them but I don’t think it’s hard to find doctors who will.

    To find private doctors closer to where you live, I’d suggest posting a note here with a subject line that reflects the districts you’d prefer. But honestly, I’ve had more success finding doctors off the beaten track of Central and HK Island by asking my Chinese friends in the office for recommendations.

    If you are ok with Sha Tin, you can try Dr Yu Kai-man at Union Hospital (my friend saw him at the Polyclinic even though she delivered public but this was a few years ago). If you are ok with going to TST, another friend recommended Dr Shell Wong at Femina.

    Obviously, especially for first-time mums, it would be nice to have a doctor who you know attending at the birth. However, in the public system, you don’t have this. I loathed the doctor on call during my son’s birth. She was rude. But the fact is, she was barely there – the midwives did most of the work and they were lovely. Even in private hospitals, I don’t think the doctors are there all that much during the entire process if things are progressing smoothly. I wouldn’t say not having a doctor you know in the delivery room is a “great” disadvantage but it’s nice to have, particularly the first time around, if you can afford it.

    If you’re thinking of delivering public, read up on threads here about delivering in the public system so you have a realistic idea of what to expect.
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