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Moving Back to Melbourne
Booking into public Hospital

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#1 sapphiree

Posted 22 February 2013 - 02:08 AM


I am a resident of Australia, but have been working overseas for a while now.
I am months into pregnancy and my EDD is 12th July, I have been receiving antenatal care in Singapore so far, but have bought tickets to go back to Melbourne mid-March and plans to give birth and stay in Melbourne since.

I was wondering if I can book into the Royal Women’s hospital for the continuity of my pregnancy, birth, and after birth care when I am back in Melbourne. Through what platform can I make the booking or can I just call in the hospital to make an appointment for booking after I go back to Melbourne during mid-March. Will there be enough time then? I just heard from relatives that I should have booked months before once I knew I was pregnant. I probably can’t find a place to give birth now, unless I go private which is very costly since I don’t have insurance and even they might not be able to find a place for me. I am really worried because private is absolutely not something I can afford.  Are there other options I should consider?

This is my first pregnancy hence I am unfamiliar with the system. I don’t have a private insurance but I am covered under medicare.

I couldn’t find a better suited platform to voice my deep concerns than here.  If I am in the wrong channel, please do refer me to the right channel I should use to ask for advice.

Thank you very much.

Much worried mother to be,

#2 Praetor VitaeChel

Posted 22 February 2013 - 02:39 AM

From my experience with RWH you had to be living pretty close to get in there on public. I was lucky to get in as I was right on the border of the area and they said if it hadn't been for the fact that I had been referred to the gyno there and she discovered I was pregnant I would have been sent to Sunshine Hospital.
You should be able to get into a public hospital, it might just not be the RWH. There are still plenty of good public hospitals in Melbourne. Perhaps contact the hospital in advance and discuss it with them.

#3 sapphiree

Posted 22 February 2013 - 03:13 AM

QUOTE (vitaechel @ 22/02/2013, 02:39 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
From my experience with RWH you had to be living pretty close to get in there on public. I was lucky to get in as I was right on the border of the area and they said if it hadn't been for the fact that I had been referred to the gyno there and she discovered I was pregnant I would have been sent to Sunshine Hospital.
You should be able to get into a public hospital, it might just not be the RWH. There are still plenty of good public hospitals in Melbourne. Perhaps contact the hospital in advance and discuss it with them.

Hi, thank you for the fast reply. I am worried sick. I live about 5km of RWH, does that help? I am not worried to be sent to another public hospital as long as it isn't too far in case of sudden water break etc. Sunshine is about 27km away.  I am more worried about the fact that my cousin told me somewhere along the line of

"if you didn't book about 8 weeks into your pregnancy, there is a high chance you can't get into any public hospital at all because it would all be full. and you have no options other than going private even without insurance. Even so, they may be all fully booked"

When you get booked into RWH, how long are you into the pregnancy? Did you have to wait for a long time to confirm a place in the hospital? Do you know of anyone who booked into a nearby public hospital more than halfway into pregnancy and could/couldn't get a place? Apologies if I ask too much...
Any information would be very helpful. >.< Thank you.

I have send an email via RWH website but they will take 5 working days to reply... I would like to find out more and discuss with my husband for other options if things look bleak.

Again. Many thanks.

Edited by sapphiree, 22 February 2013 - 03:14 AM.

#4 Fright bat

Posted 22 February 2013 - 05:21 AM

Just call them!

You can certainly book in later. There was a thread about a year ago by a woman living in the outer suburbs who was moving to the inner city around 30 weeks. She had her antenatal care close to home then RWH picked her up at 30 weeks.

Just call and ask. You are way more likely to be accepted in public than private anyway. Public have to take you! You will get in to your closest hospital.

#5 smithsholidayroad

Posted 22 February 2013 - 05:48 AM

Hi there,

I attended the RWH with my youngest two.
I live 40kms away. My GP wrote a supporting letter as did I to access this hospital.

My first visit was around 17-weeks pregnant with scans done outside the hospital ( common practise now) and results brought in at 21 week appt.

I would call them too and please done let your cousin stress you out!


#6 Lishyfips

Posted 22 February 2013 - 06:16 AM

My sister returned to Melbourne late in her pregnancy (end of second trimester). She hadn't booked into a hospital. She had no trouble getting into the Mercy. Don't panic, the public system here will look after you. They won't push you into going private, especially if you've not got obstetric insurance. Good luck!

#7 sapphiree

Posted 22 February 2013 - 01:36 PM

Thank you all so much for the assuring replies =~) . I am at least sure that I won't be forced to go into private, and public hospital will have to take me in. That puts me a lot at ease.  I was so stressed out I couldn't sleep a wink last night. Learning to take it easy now.


#8 Blueberrymummy

Posted 22 February 2013 - 01:53 PM

I moved to Melbourne from overseas around 13 weeks and didn't know until at least 25 weeks that I have to actually book into a hospital, silly of me I know. I went to my doctor and got a referral, my closest hospital is Mercy but they sent a letter back saying they are full. Then he sent the letter to Northern Hosp and they booked me in, but I am a little worried about delivering there as I have read a few bad experiences. My aunty advised me that I need to be in a hospital that provides specialized treatment because I have a chronic illness so I went back to my doc and he sent yet another referral to the women's hospital (because apparently they will let you in if you need specialized treatment even if your not in the local area.) The women's responded a week later saying that the doctor did not indicated that I need specialized treatment even though he wrote I have RA, he did not go into any detail at all. So I'm planning on just going to my appointment at the Northern Hospital and telling them I am worried about delivering and if they think I will be fine in their hospital then I'll relax.

I'm more then sure you will get into a public hospital even if you book late. Maybe you can contact a doctor in Melb and get them to fax a referral to the women's from now?

#9 Mootmoot

Posted 22 February 2013 - 08:49 PM

I moved to Melbourne at 20 weeks.  I was too late to get into the Mercy.  I found that no Melbourne Hospital would take me until I had a referral from a Melbourne doctor.  I ended up at the Northern as I was in Diamond Creek area, but then I moved at 30 weeks into the catchment area for the RWH.  When I then contacted the RWH they said that if you have proof of address within their catchment area, they must take you.

#10 SWMonkey

Posted 22 February 2013 - 10:07 PM

As per previous posts, your best bet would be to get referred by a GP.  You can also do shared care so see a GP who is registered with RWH for some of your visits and the hospital for others. I was referred to RWH when I was about 5 weeks pregnant but didn't actually get my first appointment until about 21 weeks.

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