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#1 stinadaze

Posted 12 February 2013 - 01:44 PM

I have started on the journey of learning how the “system” works when it comes to pregnancy and birth! I have never been so confused! I am hoping to be able to piece information together with information from anyone with experience! I apologise for the long rant beforehand!

To put you in the picture I am in the Camden area and we are yet to TTC. What holds me back is the fear of so many unknowns. Don’t even have a GP I can say knows me well and I can chat to comfortably about this. No friends or relatives who have been through this either.

I like the sound of the antenatal shared care midwives. Does anyone have contact details for the “centre” or “department”? I wonder whether they would work with a private OB if you decide to go to hospital as a private patient in a public hospital. (VERY KEEN ON THIS AND WHY I WANT CONTACT DETAILS SO I CAN ASK)

I cannot even understand how OBs charge. By visit? Or is it one fee for all services (visits and births).
I am trying to understand what a “straight forward” pregnancy might cost if you go to public hospital as private patient. Anesthetist charges separately and only if you need him. Idea re potential costs…
Once the baby is born I imagine a pediatrician will provide a check up. Assuming this is a must and is another fee. Again, any rough idea of cost?

If in a public hospital, does the specialist (Anesthetist and pediatrician) decide how much to charge or the hospital? I guess Medicare will refund their portion and imagine HI (we are on a basic hospital) would do their bit and what you’re left with is the gap.

If anyone can point me in the direction of a department/person/association where I can start to gather some info I’d also be appreciative as I know I've asked a lot and clearly know close to nothing about this topic!

#2 jules77

Posted 12 February 2013 - 01:57 PM

Why don't you just ring your local public hospital that has maternity services? I'm sure there would be someone you could talk to and answer your questions. I'm not familiar with public hospitals in the Camden area.

Generally speaking though, if you want to be under the care of a private OB, you use the private system. I'm not sure that there would be many, if any public hospitals who would facilitate your own private ob within their midwife group practices.

I would also start searching for a GP. I think having a good GP is invaluable when pregnant, and even more so when you have children.

#3 Pssst...

Posted 12 February 2013 - 02:23 PM

I was a private patient in a public hospital, and TBH, the first time around it was tricky! Sometimes dealing with both entities (especially as a first timer who knew nothing!) was really frustrating when one person would tell you one thing and somebody else would tell you something different.

It is MUCH easier to go all private or all public, if you can.

If you still want to go private in a public hospital then you need to call the hospital's maternity dept and find out which OBs will treat you there - if any, my experience was that very few actually do this.

Once you find one/some then you can call them to ask about their fees/gaps etc.

To give you an idea, my OB charges $5,000 and that's for all visits, birth, post-natal check etc. Can't think exactly what the out of pocket expense is - but you don't really get much back from Medicare, so in my head I just budget for the full $5K and anything I get back is a bonus! biggrin.gif

Both my labours failed to progress and ended up with C-sections. I didn't pay any additional fees - I just had to pay the private health insurance excess.

So, aside from the OB fees, there was just scans/blood tests etc to pay for.

It's also worth noting that at the hospital I went to, I wasn't guaranteed a private room simply because I was a private patient - sick mums/bubs get priority and then private patients and then public patients. The second time I had a private room from the get-go, the first time I was in a shared room for the first night.

Good luck TTC and try not to stress about all the hospital/OB stuff - it wall all fall into place!


Edited by Pssst..., 12 February 2013 - 02:24 PM.

#4 stinadaze

Posted 14 February 2013 - 02:20 PM

Yes it would be great to find a GP.....MUCH easier said than done! I have my fingers crossed that I may just have stumbled across a good one, but the wait is always sooo long and no appts.

I must get onto the hospital and try my luck asking some questions...

I am starting to doubt any benefits in being private patient in a public hospital.... Psst. you would have had to pay for the Anesthetist  as well right? cause HI does not cover that.

I would be happy going public.... my only concern is if there are complications with the pregnancy or birth. in that case it is always nice to have a familiar face.

thanks for your replies, appreciate it.

#5 Melissam12

Posted 01 March 2013 - 04:35 PM

There is the option of antenatal shared care with a private midwife, and this is available throughout Sydney.  There is also the option of hospital birth with a private midwife.  The Pregnancy, Birth and Baby website http://www.pregnancybirthbaby.org.au/  has general information about your options.  If you’re wanting information about private midwifery or private obstetrics, information is available through the care provider individually, by consultation or through their websites.  

Private midwives and obstetricians usually charge by appointment; some bulk bill some appointments and charge a gap.

#6 Soontobegran

Posted 01 March 2013 - 05:30 PM

QUOTE (stinadaze @ 14/02/2013, 03:20 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I am starting to doubt any benefits in being private patient in a public hospital.... Psst. you would have had to pay for the Anesthetist  as well right? cause HI does not cover that.

I would be happy going public.... my only concern is if there are complications with the pregnancy or birth. in that case it is always nice to have a familiar face.

Many people have problem free experiences of being private in a public hospital. There should not be anymore confusion as to whom is your primary caregiver than if you were going to a private hospital as you still see him/her for your antenatal care.

The only difference once you are admitted in labour is that it will be your private Obstetrician who is contacted regarding orders and for delivery, the only time you'd see a registrar or resident would be if there was an issue and your doctor could not be contacted or get into the hospital on time.

In labour whether you are private or public you will see very little of any doctor so the attenting midwife whether hospital or independent will be a familiar face to you in the event of any complications.

As private patient in a public hospital all your bed/theatre/SCN/pathology costs are covered but you will still have your Obstetrician's fees, the anaesthetist fees if you require one and the paediatrician's fee if required. Babies do not routinely get checked by a paediatrician but if admission to SCN is required your baby can be admitted as a public patient and therefore have no out of pocket expenses.

The benefits of delivery as a private patient in a public hospital I think are that you have everything you could possibly need at hand. Contrary to what some people believe public maternity hospitals are very much better equipped than the majority of private hospitals where the focus is on serving the doctors and not the patients.
Lots of good luck for your future TTC.

#7 Pssst...

Posted 01 March 2013 - 05:40 PM

Just came in to reply re: anaesthetist. I didn't receive a bill for either time I needed one. Have no idea why!

#8 Melissam12

Posted 01 March 2013 - 05:47 PM

There isn't always a bill original.gif

#9 epl0822

Posted 01 March 2013 - 05:59 PM

I sympathise - I've been doing research myself and the financial side of things is incredibly confusing and quite often mysterious.

A few pointers:

-Don't be fooled by the insurance company saying "the bill for the obstetrician/anaesthetist/assisting surgeon (if you need a c-section) is covered." They might be covered, but you could still face huge out of pocket costs. The PHI will cover a set fee (like a RRP for a medical service) but in the likely scenario that the medial provider charges more than this, you will foot the bill. My friend had a $10k bill even with full PHI when she had an emergency c-section.

-All obstetricians charge a "pregnancy management fee" - ostensibly for the "inconvenience" of being on call 24/7 - and this can be around $3-5k. None of this is covered by PHI and you get only a couple of hundred dollars back.

-You will need to pay out of pocket (ie not covered by PHI, only partially covered by Medicare) for all blood tests and ultrasounds that would be otherwise free if you went totally public. I don't know if this is the case for private patient at public hospital.

#10 Soontobegran

Posted 01 March 2013 - 06:04 PM

QUOTE (Pssst... @ 01/03/2013, 06:40 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Just came in to reply re: anaesthetist. I didn't receive a bill for either time I needed one. Have no idea why!

Lucky you  original.gif

#11 Melissam12

Posted 01 March 2013 - 06:18 PM

QUOTE (epl0822 @ 01/03/2013, 06:59 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
-All obstetricians charge a "pregnancy management fee" - ostensibly for the "inconvenience" of being on call 24/7 - and this can be around $3-5k. None of this is covered by PHI and you get only a couple of hundred dollars back.

-You will need to pay out of pocket (ie not covered by PHI, only partially covered by Medicare) for all blood tests and ultrasounds that would be otherwise free if you went totally public. I don't know if this is the case for private patient at public hospital.

PHI only covers in hospital costs.  Medicare covers all costs incurred out of the hospital - eg planning and mgmt fee or the midwife's care plan fee.

Not all tests and scans incur an out-of-pocket cost when going private - some practitioners bulk-bill them.

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