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Explain how it works here please
public in Melbourne


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7 replies to this topic

#1 lynneyours

Posted 18 January 2013 - 10:41 PM

Hi
I've had 2 DD's in London, and now live in Melbourne.  We're doing the should we/shouldn't we on #3 and have been for ages.

Please can someone educate me or direct me to a link as to how it works here for pregnancy care.  
I don't have private health insurance so would be public in Melbourne, I live close the the Royal Womens and Royal Melbourne Hospitals.

Previous pregnancy info:
DD1: HG, PE, scans at 12, 16, 22, 32, 36 weeks (one was in Fetal medicine a scan of her heart and I had a scan of mine, as I have a heart murmur).  Induced at 39.6, born on EDD by ventouse in a couple of hours (once I hit 4cm) with the cord round her neck twice.  Posterior and 2nd degree tear.

DD2:  PE and borderline OC.  scans at 12, 22, 32 weeks, again one of her heart in fetal medicine.  Born on EDD, 11 minutes after 4cm and waters broken.  Again posterior, cord round neck twice, 2nd degree tear.  Transverse with unstable lie until 39.5 when she turned cephalic.

ALL the above was free. I didn't pay anything.  I have all my medical notes from both pregnancies and births here.

I'd LOVE to have #3 and prefer midwife-led care.   How does it work in Melbourne?  How much does it cost? Do you pay for scans? Birth? Would I be an automatic high risk?

TIA for any help/advice.

#2 girltribe4

Posted 18 January 2013 - 10:49 PM

I had 2 babies in a major London hospital (2000 & 2001) then 2 babies in Adelaide (2004 & 2008)  Our London hospital did undergo a massive overhaul after we left but my experiences here in Australia giving birth in the public system were amazing compared to the facilities & care in the UK.
Much cleaner , larger private rooms each time (2 different Adelaide hospitals) .

I did need to pay for my scans about $300 I think but I got a large percentage of that back from Medicare , as far as I can remember that is all we paid for.

All 4 of mine were posterior , 3 epidurals , 1st was ventouse but others were born without ''help'' .

Edited by girltribe4, 18 January 2013 - 10:53 PM.


#3 lynneyours

Posted 18 January 2013 - 10:58 PM

Was it St Mary's?  My friend had children there and it was fairly average, when I went there, they'd refurb'd and it was great.  Clean. Light and bright.  
I had 1 other woman in my room with DD2, 2 others with DD1.  I didn't mind it - I liked chatting in the small hours when we were both awake feeding babies.

#4 RunDMC

Posted 19 January 2013 - 08:49 AM

Hi OP, We have just moved back  to melboune from London, currently 22 weeks and have only just had my first hospital visit. We are going public and as long as you have a medicare card you are all set and should not cost a thing.

Hospital: I found the easiest thing to do was look at the hospital websites and they detail how you 'apply' for the hospital, whether a GP needs to fill the form in or whether you can. The form for Sandringham and monash had boxes where you can select the type of care you would prefer:Midwife clinicVia the hospital doctors clinicSharecare with your own GP

On your first hospital visit they assess your level of risk and the appropriate level of care required, my appointment lasted 1.5 hours and they asked all about my previous pregnancies, medical history et al. Due to a small medical issue of mine that needs monitoring I have been placed in the doctors clinic care group, which is connected to the hospital. I was hoping for the midwife clinic.Either way you need to be pregnant and will need a referral from a GP to 'apply'. I just went to our local medical super clinic.


Scans: once a hospital accepts you, they will coordinate your scan referrals , sometimes the hospital radiology is full and they will outsource.
If you are still waiting on a hospital your GP can refer you for scans and blood tests.


The trick to remember is that you can use the scan referral anywhere not just the centre listed on the form. Ring or google around as the costs vary, some places will fully bulk bill costing you nothing, some will not. The Medicare rebate is only around $60, most places charge upwards of $150.
Hope that helps. Good luck

Edited by DMC_baby, 19 January 2013 - 08:51 AM.


#5 RichardParker

Posted 19 January 2013 - 09:06 AM

I just had a baby at the Royal Women's in Melbourne and I was really impressed.  

To start, go to your local general practitioner and he or she will fax your referral to the hospital. The hospital then sends a letter to you with the time of your first appointment. Then, at your first appointment (at about 22 weeks) you book in all the rest if the appointments.

You can either do 'shared care' with your GP, which is where you have half your appointments with your local doctor and the rest at the hospital.  The RWH also have a midwife program where you meet with the same midwives the whole way through.  I did shared care with my GP and was really pleased.

I'm happy to help via PM if you need any questions answered.  I know that figuring out 'the system' was the hardest part for me.

#6 lynneyours

Posted 19 January 2013 - 11:52 PM

QUOTE (*Greenbag* @ 19/01/2013, 10:06 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I just had a baby at the Royal Women's in Melbourne and I was really impressed.  

To start, go to your local general practitioner and he or she will fax your referral to the hospital. The hospital then sends a letter to you with the time of your first appointment. Then, at your first appointment (at about 22 weeks) you book in all the rest if the appointments.

You can either do 'shared care' with your GP, which is where you have half your appointments with your local doctor and the rest at the hospital.  The RWH also have a midwife program where you meet with the same midwives the whole way through.  I did shared care with my GP and was really pleased.

I'm happy to help via PM if you need any questions answered.  I know that figuring out 'the system' was the hardest part for me.


Thanks for replying and congratulations Greenbag.  My friend had 2 in London and 1 here and said "it was a nightmare here" without specifying why.  We're trying to figure out HOW it's done here, as part of the decision-making process.

So, 22 weeks is the first appointment?  
In the UK, I'd already had the NT scans/tests, the fetal medicine heart scans and the 20-week abnormality scan by then - so is that then something the GP does here, or do you just organise yourself?
For DD's, I was referred to my hospital of choice by my GP, then attended the clinic at 12 weeks, and they did all bloods, scans, measuring, checking, S&S etc all there, at the same clinic, (except the fetal medicine scan) - is that how it works here too, or do you need to go to various places - if so, how/when do you get your results?

I do have a Medicare card, but didn't realise you could go to different places than where referred - useful to know!

Edited by lynnemine, 19 January 2013 - 11:53 PM.


#7 lucky 2

Posted 20 January 2013 - 10:06 AM

I think you need to be getting in the system well before 22 weeks as just like your experience in UK you usually would have had your scan etc prior to that stage, ie 18-20 weeks.
You'll work it out, once your in the "system" I would hope that every would go well from their.
All the best with your pregnancy.
I presume you have seen this but just in case-
http://www.thewomens.org.au/PregnancyCareOptions
Ring bookings tomorrow, the phone number is to the right of the page.

#8 ednaboo

Posted 23 January 2013 - 12:08 PM

I wonder if Greenbag did shared care with a GP, and saw her GP before 22 weeks?  Otherwise, the first hospital appointment would be earlier.  

When I had my first two at RWH I had to pay for the 12 week screening scan myself (it had to be done privately as they only did the 20 week scan routinely, or others if medically indicated).  This scan was about $150 I think but you get some back from Medicare.

There should be a schedule of visits/pathway on the RWH website somewhere.  I am pg with #4 and going to a different hospital.  I have to see my GP before 10 weeks for bloods and ultrasound form, they refer to the hospital and they will see me between 10 and 16 weeks.  The hospital will then decide if I can do Midwife Care based on risk level - I imagine RWH would be similar.

The 10 week ultrasound is the only thing I have paid for with maternity care.  When I did shared care with a GP the GP bulk billed those apointments.  I have been very happy with the care I have had in public (2 different hospitals).

I *think* you have to live in the RWH zone to birth there nowadays but it sounds like you definitely do.  RMH does not do maternity.

Edited by ednaboo, 23 January 2013 - 12:09 PM.





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