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Moving to HK in 2 weeks - 21 weeks pregnant, need hospital advice!

  1. #9
    Gracey is offline Registered User
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    Hong Kong
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    Hi Donna,
    Welcome to HK! Hope this answers all your questions.

    1. Coverage of 10,000 pounds = 120,000 HKD, which should more or less cover it, with your paying just a small part. I had a complex delivery -- 5 nights in private hospital in private room -- and it came to 140,000 HKD. If you have that benefit, I'd probably take advantage.

    2. If you're living here w/ a HKID and work visa, you are a HK resident. You are not a permenant resident, meaning you can;t vote in local elections, but you are a HK resident in terms of hospital care.

    3. I'd let go of any PC preconceptions about public vs. private, as you are dealing w/ entirely different cultural and political realities here. I always used public schools and hospitals in my native Canada, and would encourage my children to do the same if we lived there. But we don't. And if private health care and education are right for you in HK, then go with it. Same with the hiring of a "helper." My friends in the West look down their noses at me for having a helper -- but the HK reality is that it's the most affordable, convenient solution for a working mom.

    4. HK has excellent health care, public and private. We have some of the best infant / maternal health statistics in the world. The big difference is that the neo-natal intensive care units (NICU) are in the public hospitals, which tend to be big teaching hospitals. In the grand majority of cases, private hospitals can take care of your delivery. In the rare case -- god forbid -- of an emergency like a car crash, very early labor, etc, you will be automatically shipped to public.

    5. If you go public, you have to go to the hospital in your cachement area. If you go private, you can go anywhere you like.

    Hope that helps!
    slin likes this.

  2. #10
    Gracey is offline Registered User
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    Here are the big differences delivering public vs. private

    Public pros
    * Free or almost free
    * They must serve you if you are a legal resident, even if you pop in at the last minute (though this is not recommended). But no booking headaches. They are not allowed to "run out of space."
    * Big hospitals with neo-natal intensive care units, in case something goes wrong.

    Private pros
    * You get to choose your doctor. This was important to me, as I love my ob/gyn, who has followed me through 2 pregnancies. At public, you get who-ever is on rotation -- it could be a total stranger, young intern, etc.
    * Generally more comfortable. You're paying for privacy, a more pleasant atmosphere, more attentive nursing care, a midwife who comes by to help you breastfeeding, better food, etc. Public system is safe, but barebones. You might be in a big ward / shared bathroom w/ a bunch of other moms. There won't be tons of extra staff on hand to help you w/ childcare, getting a drink of water, etc. Those nurses are busy!
    * Choice of pain relief. At a private hospital, I opted for a "walking epidural" and had an attentive anaesthesiologist at my side ASAP. (I did pay for him, though) In public, it's first come, first serve -- w/ priority given to emergency cases. So, unless you are at risk, you might not get the pain relief you want, or when you want it.

    If it makes you feel better, you'll be fine either way. But if you want private, I'd book pretty soon, even if from overseas.

  3. #11
    DonnaDE is offline Registered User
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    Jun 2013
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    Hi Gracey,

    That's super super helpful, thanks a lot! I sent out some speculative emails yesterday as well - had a reply from St Teresa's and they are definitely not full, so I know there's at least one option available for going private! Next step arrive and get my HKID card, then I can start making appointments with OB-GYNs.

    Thanks again,
    Donna

  4. #12
    Gracey is offline Registered User
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    I don't know St. Teresa's.
    I delivered at Baptist, which is also on Kowloon side, and it was good.
    Rich expat moms tend to choose Matilda (though v. expensive and boutique-y).
    Sanatorium is also excellent.

  5. #13
    DonnaDE is offline Registered User
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    Sanatorium is the one that stood out for me - Matilda seemed waaaayyyy to extravagant for me!! But to be honest, if the hospitals being busy is an issue I'll take what I can get! Thanks again :)

  6. #14
    TNT
    TNT is offline Banned
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    Another thing to be aware of is whether you want to breastfeed, as some private hospitals have practices that make it very difficult. St Teresa's is one of those hospitals. I met a midwife who worked there recently and she said you can't have the baby with you unless you have a private room (not guaranteed as depends on who else wants one) and have to put baby in the nursery and can only feed at set times every 4 hours eg 8am, 12pm etc and you have to go to the nursery to do it, so if for some reason you can t walk (say after a Caesarian) then you can't breastfeed, they won't even let the dad bring the baby to you! May not be an issue for you, but so different from the UK thought I'd better make you aware of it. Likewise overall Caesarian rate pretty high here, so if you have a preference to avoid one, make sure you ask your ob what their rate is if you decide to go private. Many of them have rates of 75% or higher. Not an issue in the public system unless you want a Caesar which is not possible without a medical reason, ie like the UK you can't just decide you want one! Hope this is useful, if you do a search you can find more information on both these issues.

  7. #15
    DonnaDE is offline Registered User
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    Wow, 75% C-section rates, that's insane!! Well, definitely will be asking a lot of questions when I arrive - thanks for the heads up though as I definitely want to breast feed and I definitely don't want a C-section. I'm considering going the public route as a private patient and perhaps using Annerley's Best of Both package (if BUPA cover it) - I'm going to call Annerley when I arrive in HK and arrange a consultation with them to sit down and discuss all my options. Do you know what the breastfeeding policy is in the public system? Also, do you know if can you keep your baby with you in the public system?

  8. #16
    Aquarian is offline Registered User
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    I had my son in a public hospital and I was allowed to keep him with me the whole time. So I breastfed on demand. Staff werent happy about it, they prefered to keep babies in the nursery apart from feeding times and visiting hours, but they let me have him. They thought I was weird though.

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