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Public or private? Dr Yan Choi Man?

  1. #1
    Kartaly is offline Registered User
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    Public or private? Dr Yan Choi Man?

    I'm fairly new to HK (moved here last August) - and certainly new to pregnancy. Thus, will really appreciate advice and tips from those here. I have a no of questions so please bear with me:
    1) For now, I'm planning to do the public-private hybrid route: give birth in QMH but supplement with private visits. I understand that I won't be able to choose the doc that delivers or a private ward (so my husband can stay over if need be) - is that correct?
    And to what extent does that matter? Do the cost savings (I have a HK ID card and so presumably will spend HK$1,000 or so versus HK$40,000 thereabouts from what I read; the former option will be an enormous help, finance-wise) make up for lack of relationship building with the doc, privacy and bonding time with the infant in the initial days etc? I am especially concerned if we are curtailed in the time we can have our baby in the ward with us...
    2) I have had a referral to Dr Yan Choi Man from Asia clinic in TST to help with supplementary visits. Was wondering if anyone had gone to him and has feedback either way?
    Thanks so much for helping!

  2. #2
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    Colzers is offline Registered User
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    I am in the same boat and have talked to a doctor about he three options private, public or private at QMH. You can have a private or semi private room at QMH. It's less than private but not cheap. So my doctor said public is safe the issue is you will be in an open ward with upto 12 moms and pregnant ladies. Your husband can be there for delivery and business hours I think 6-8pm. The private at public is better if you want to rest in privacy and hubby can be there more. Private at private you know your doctor and hubby can stay. I hope this helps. I'm happy to talk more if you want I am honestly ready to scream trying to figure out the right choice and get proper info from hospitals.

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    charade is offline Registered User
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    I delivered public for my first child (United Christian Hospital, not QMH) and seriously considered private for my second (even paid the deposit) but ended up going public again (needed an emergency c-section and couldn't risk the inflated costs).

    My view is that if budget is a concern at all, go public. The service and care is more than adequate. Moreover, in private, costs can inflate greatly if you need anything other than a standard vaginal delivery or a scheduled c-sec. You don't want to be panicking about your bill during labour. Private is a good option for people who are completely covered by insurance or for whom budget is not a concern.

    The cons of public... as you said, you don't have a doctor you're familiar with. Having a doctor who you know is an advantage especially for your first child, and I have serious issues with the bedside manner of the younger resident docs at United Chrisitan, but if your budget is tight, it's not big enough to spend that much money on. Because their medical knowledge is fine - there are very senior and experienced docs around to handle any complication. Also normally you see the doctor at your delivery for a limited period and at least in public (but even in private to some extent), it's mainly the nurses and midwives who deal with you. My experience with the midwives and nurses was great...frankly they deserve some kind of award for their tirelessness and patience. They are also extremely pro-breastfeeding in public so you can be sure they won't be feeding formula unnecessarily, if that's important to you.

    About visiting hours, unless you can afford a private room in a private hospital, you might find the restricted visiting hours in the public system a relief. In fact, that's what made me rethink going private for my second child - if everyone is allowed visitors at any hour, you can imagine how noisy it can get in a ward.

    As for time with the baby, you will certainly get adequate time as they encourage you to keep the baby with you in the public hospitals, at least after the first night, as long as there are no medical issues that require your baby to be in the NICU. Even if you are separated from you baby a bit, it will not impact bonding... that's my experience. And they will try and get you started breastfeeding ASAP.

    Your husband, however, will have restricted time with the baby but it will not affect bonding either. You're in hospital for only two days and he will have plenty of time to catch up. IMO, this is not a reason to stretch your budget and go private. It does mean that you are left to your own devices with the baby for the first two days, since the nurses are kind of busy, so it can get hard but it's manageable.

    One thing about public, they have their policies and won't easily (or at all) deviate from those to honour birth plans. So be prepared that you might not exactly get your dream birth. But you will get good medical care and good breastfeeding support at an excellent price.

    I am not familiar with the doctor you mentioned but if you got a good feeling from him, why not go ahead?
    hazel128 likes this.

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    Kartaly is offline Registered User
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    Ladies, thanks so much for the advice.

    I do have to admit that there's a twinge of apprehension about going public - perhaps unfair visions of being a cog in the public system. But I guess when all's said and done, the money saved is so enormous I'm just going to go for it.
    Called Tsan Yuk today and got my first appt next month. Colzers, when are you due? Mine is prob Jan or so.

    Charade, thanks for the reassurances. It's wonderful to hear from those who have trodden the path. Another question if you don't mind - did you get a confinement lady to help you the first month? We don't have a helper or family here who will be able to help.

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    charade is offline Registered User
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    By confinement lady do you mean the Chinese piu yuets? I'm not Chinese so I didn't. From what I've heard, they cook the traditional food etc. as well as help with the baby, but they are quite bossy. If you'd like someone else to take the lead, then that option might suit you.

    I'd highly recommend getting a helper or having a family member you are comfortable with come over to help. The physical labour involved in caring for an infant is overwhelming and I think the more help around the better, particularly for the first child. Only make sure it is someone you are comfortable with as you don't want to be dealing with the stress of someone you dislike. I feel helpers are a good option because they will follow your lead if you prefer, but also have the experience of caring for young ones. For me it has been well worth the extra person in a tiny house.

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    justarlene is offline Registered User
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    Hi Charade,

    I have already paid deposit to go private. But I do have some concern with inflated cost if it happens to be emergency c-sect. Could you share more? How did you end up in public hospitals for your second child? It will give me a much needed assurance knowing if any complication I still can choose to go QMH. I am now seeing private and public.

  7. #7
    charade is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by justarlene View Post
    Hi Charade,

    I have already paid deposit to go private. But I do have some concern with inflated cost if it happens to be emergency c-sect. Could you share more? How did you end up in public hospitals for your second child? It will give me a much needed assurance knowing if any complication I still can choose to go QMH. I am now seeing private and public.
    For my second child, I was veering towards going private but just could not make up my mind. My husband was experiencing some job insecurity, so we were in a position where if he had his job when I delivered, we could afford private (though it was never a trivial amount for us) and if he didn't, then it would have to be public. To play safe, I registered in the public system. I also registered for a private place at Baptist; the deposit there was HK$6,000 which was an amount I could stomach losing in case I had to go public.

    Since I had delivered public before I knew the system and chose to avail of their free testing - so I did all the blood tests, and whatever free scans I could in the public system. Also, I liked having them as a second opinion. My private doctor was fine with this arrangement. I applied for my records in the public system and shared them with him.

    In my third trimester, around 35 weeks or so, found out my baby was in breech position. This meant that I could choose to have an ECV to manually turn her or opt for a c-section. My private doctor was not qualified to perform an ECV and so suggested I go public for that (he wrote me a letter and I went back to the public hospital and they rescheduled my appointment so they and I could make the arrangements). However, I couldn't decide if I was comfortable with an ECV though I booked it anyway.

    I also scheduled a c-section with my private doctor. For a vaginal delivery, the cost we agreed on was roughly $60,000. For a scheduled c-sec on a non-public holiday or weekend, it was 70-80,000$. This was already stretching my budget. My doctor frankly shared that for an emergency c-sec the cost could be anywhere up from that, because I couldn't control the date (what if I needed one on a public holiday? Immediately the cost would start higher).

    While I was still dithering, I started getting contractions. This meant I needed an emergency c-sec because a breech vaginal delivery is complicated and while some women opt for it, I was not one of them. So I went into the public hospital and had my delivery there. Since I had been in their system all along, it was seamless. And actually, I had a pretty good experience so I'm happy with the way it ended up... and I saved a pile of money (though I lost the HK$6000 deposit).

    You can always choose to go public. I think even if you are not registered in their system for antenatal care and choose to go public at the last moment, you can land up and if you are a HKID holder, you will get care at the subsidized rates (almost free). Not sure about this though.

    Personally I preferred being registered with them and having the requisite papers from the MCH to go to the delivery suite. Also, I was open with the MCH that I was seeing a private doctor and undecided and they were fine with me skipping their appointments. They prefer to see you more in the last few weeks though.

  8. #8
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    carang is offline Registered User
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    yes, you can, charade. the public hospital will not turn you away. just make sure you go to one with a mat ward.

    Sent from my GT-I8150 using GeoClicks Mobile

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