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Public health v's private health in pregnancy

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#1 mummalib

Posted 29 December 2011 - 05:27 AM

Hi everyone,

Since our little Christmas surprise (our little bubba!) I have looked into our health insurance which we have only just joined! It seems that we will miss out using it as it won't kick in until the 5th Sept. Now I am a little anxious as everyone has told me that we should definitley go private blah blah blah!Is anoyone else going public or been public can reassure me that it is just as good?

Nat rolleyes.gif

#2 Cherish

Posted 29 December 2011 - 05:32 AM

It depenss where you live.
Nothubg you can do about it now, unless you are prepared to be thousanda out of pocket.
Look into your local hospitals (public)

#3 red in oz

Posted 29 December 2011 - 05:35 AM

Not in this dig but I have have fantastic care in the public system for my three pregnancies. Check out your local hospitals. It's more to do with the hospital and the program available rather than public versus private.

If your local hospital has a bad reputation you can look into other options such as private ob in public hospital or private midwife either at home or in a public hospital. These will cost you similar in out of pocket costs to full private care you just won't get the bit you phi pays for I.e. the sw**ky private hospital.

If your public hospital offers caseload or one on one midwife care then I wouldn't consider any other option personally. I'd save the money for something else.

Get yourself booked in if you want this type of scheme though they can be very popular.

#4 Kailing

Posted 29 December 2011 - 05:46 AM

As PP said, it really depends on the local hospital. I have private health insurance but had both of my daughters at our closest public hospital. It is a big, well known hospital and my obstetrician recommended it over the private hospitals he works at.  It was superb and I would highly recommend this particular hospital over private.
The added advantage was that it is close to home and our second daughter came in a big hurry - we wouldn't have made it to the hospital in time if we'd gone private!!

So personally I wouldn't worry too much - talk to your doctor about which are the best public hospitals and try to get in there.

#5 edgeofreality

Posted 29 December 2011 - 05:50 AM

I'm a private patient and I can't speak for the public experience, but I can say that I don't think I have really got my money's worth from the private experience.

Yes, I chose by obstetrician, and I found a good one.  But that was luck - how would most people know who was good or not anyway?  I see him once every couple of weeks, but the appointments are generally less than 5 minutes.  He checks my blood pressure and the foetal heartrate and asks if I have any issues.  That's it.  

The biggest advantage from private is the reassurance I get from knowing that bubs is okay at every fortnightly check, rather than having to wait between ultrasounds. If you are nervous, this is probably the one, most significant thing you are paying for through private.  I wasn't particularly nervous though.

Hospital-wise, I will get a private room if one is available, but have to share if they are having a busy night.  The visiting hours are more restrictive than the local public hospital and only slightly more generous for family members then for other people (although that'lll be a good thing if I do have to share a room!).  My pasrtner cannot stay at the hospital with me.

Classes were included, but they were on at silly times, and not suitable for working women.  

At the end of the day, I will be many, many $1000s out of pocket, even with private health insurance.  I have to pay for everything - a pregnancy management fee of several thousand, nearly $100 a visit on top of that, all the testing and, if I need it, the anasthetist.  Most of this I do not get back.

Don't get me wrong - I like my obstetrician and appreciate the comfort and reassurance of having private insurance.  Also, when I got pregnant I didn't know whether I was going to have preclampsia, gestational diabetetes or anything where I might need additional help.  However, for an average, low-risk pregnancy, I have my doubts as to whether private is really the way to go.  The level of care in the public system is very good, and the kind of money it costs to go private really could be much better spent in other ways.

#6 Snack

Posted 29 December 2011 - 06:00 AM

I am not part of this group but saw this in recent topics.  I had both my kids at the local public hospital and had gestational diabetes both times.  I was VERY happy with the level of care I received ... I saw a doctor every week and had about 4 ultrasounds during the course of each pregnancy.  

Go and visit your local hospital and have a look around ..... ask around where you live and you will find out first hand what your local is like ... good luck and congratulations !!

#7 Etcetera

Posted 29 December 2011 - 06:37 AM

Hi Nat.
I went public previously and will again, though at a different hospital as we have moved states.
I had fantastic care both times. I honestly could not fault it at all. I saw a few different midwives but got to know them quite well.
Dont be scared to go public. Just because you aren't paying doesn't mean your care will be substandard.

#8 Guest_misskrys_*

Posted 29 December 2011 - 07:39 AM

my experience with public was brilliant.
great midwife
fantastic food
partner got a double bed for as long as he felt like it (we stayed 3 nights)
the tea, coffee, biccies and sandwiches came on the hour every hour
no visiting restrictions
this was a public hospital in a small country town.

Yes I have private health but no way did I want to be out of pocket thousands of $$$ if I could do it for free.

#9 MummaDiva

Posted 29 December 2011 - 08:11 AM

I don't really belong in this forum, but I could not not answer your question.  I had my first in the private system, and my second in the public system.  In my case, there is no comparison;  the care I personally received in the private hospital was much much better.  That said, if you are young, fit and are unlikely to have any complications, I don't think there would be much difference.

In my case, when I had my second bub in the public system, I was funneled into the Midwife Clinic (despite some health issues that made me "potentially high risk" - I part paid out of pocket for diag U/S to look into some issues - the local hosp only fired up their U/S at certain times, & I could not be taking that much time off work).  I therefore did not even so much as see a doctor until two weeks pp, when I ended up being readmitted via the ED with a massive bleed due to the delivering midwife charting, but never following up on, the fact that my membranes were ruptured and partially retained at time of delivery.

I agree that it really depends on your local hospital.  I used a SW Syd public hospital - it is a massive growth area, delivers the most live births in Aus, but is grossly underfunded and understaffed.  If you live in the Eastern or Northern suburbs or anywhere closer to the city, you should have some great choices in terms of public hospitals.

#10 White-Lily

Posted 29 December 2011 - 10:41 AM

I went public with DD and will go public again.
I saw the local (public) OB and Midwife team from 18 weeks (saw GP until then). Everything was bulk billed except for the 12 and 20 week ultrasounds.

I was low risk and had a very straight forward pregnancy, labour and birth and the hospital and staff were great.

#11 NinjaMum

Posted 29 December 2011 - 10:47 AM

We went private with the first bub, and ended up about $5k out of pocket. Our financial circumstances have radically changed, and despite still retaining our health insurance, we simply cannot afford private again.

This time we'll be going public. I'm confident that my local public hospital (a tertiary hospital) will provide excellent care. I might not get a room to myself and it might be very busy, but at least we won't have to find $5k! That said, it's incredibly difficult to find ANY personal experience kind of information on my public hospital, so you may not be able to find out much until you enter the system.

#12 ubermum

Posted 29 December 2011 - 10:47 AM

I went private for my first two, and am going public for this one. Honestly, there isn't much difference in care depending on where you choose to birth. Since medicare rebates have changed, I would be out of pocket $6k if I used my private insurance and went to my ob/gyn for this baby. I can't justify that when I can get equally good care in the public system, just a shorter stay and maybe not a private room.  I have chosen a birth centre that is located within a tertiary hospital, so I have covered all bases.

#13 Gumbette

Posted 29 December 2011 - 10:50 AM

I am fully in the private hospital camp and wouldn't consider going public, unless......I didn't have PHI. The costs would be astronomical (one of our friends walked away with a 10k bill and that was with an uncomplicated birth and a healthy child). Like PP's have suggested in your case I would look for a good public hospital.  Good luck.

#14 AnZ

Posted 03 January 2012 - 07:33 PM

Honestly I've been to both and they were both crappy, in saying that though my experience with the public system was when my eldest was born in 1994 original.gif ...

This time around I'm going public because the private hospital I went through last time really disappointed me + we don't have the money we had previously however I still wouldn't go back to that hospital if they paid me and I said I would go public if we were lucky enough to fall pregnant again original.gif

#15 CupcakeMonster

Posted 03 January 2012 - 07:43 PM

I will be going private when the time comes. We have PHI and will be upping it shortly as we are looking at trying towards the end of the year. I know the OB I want, she has delivered several friend's babies and also is a gp/ does shared care.
After having my kidney out 5 months ago and finding out that it was cancerous, the operation that cost my health fund $20k with absolutely no out of pocket costs to myself, I will never be without health insurance.
Pregnancy will very possibly be high risk for me due to the missing kidney. It may be perfectly fine, but I'd prefer having my own doctor who knows my situation and will be there when I need them.

#16 SarahMc

Posted 18 January 2012 - 02:22 PM

I'm new here, in the Due in August forum, but have been a member for years.

I'm pregnant for the fifth time. First preg was a miscarriage, next three were beautiful babies and I'm pregnant again with my fourth.

I've been through both public and private and can honestly say that I preferred my public experiences the most.

My first baby was born publically at a major Melbourne hospital. The antenatal clinic waits were pretty bad, but not much I could do about that. His labour and delivery was wonderful. Food was wonderful. Stay in a partner package room with my husband.

My second was born privately with my own OB in a private Melbourne hospital. I hardly saw my OB, about five minutes per appointment and I always, always felt rushed out of the room. He did make it to my labour and delivery, and took complete control and I pretty much didn't have a say at all. He ruptured my membranes without my knowledge until he was finished. I saw him very briefly once a day (I think) postnatally. Food was wonderful, stayed in a private double bed room with my husband.

My third was born publically at the same Melbourne Hospital, although they had moved sites. This time I went with their Team Midwifery Clinic offsite and it was WONDERFUL. Hardly any wait at all for antenatal visits. I saw the same midwives for most of my visits. The only downside was that I had a very short labour, less than two hours. We ended up getting to the hospital 12 minutes before she was born (literally) and seven of those minutes I was forced to fill out paperwork, while insisting that the baby was coming NOW. She was born 5 minutes after we got into the birth suites. The midwife was not one of my team midwives and did not listen to me. She bent my leg back so far and at such an odd angle that the pain from that was worse than the delivery itself. I couldn't walk without pain for over a month. Again, food was wonderful, had a partner package room again. Postntal care was brilliant.

Having said all that, I MUCH preferred my public births as I feel I had more control of my pregnancy and my body.

I was shocked this time around that booking into hospitals has changed so much. All three other times all I needed to do was phone and make an appointment. This time I was lucky to get in to my chosen hosptial, and I think I only got in because I've had two other babies and my miscarriage there.

Whatever choice you make, you'll have both positive and negative experiences. After you take your baby home you'll probably forget all about them until the next time you're pregnant original.gif

Certainly don't panic if you can't go privately. Good luck!

#17 cheekybooby

Posted 18 January 2012 - 06:19 PM

I have gone public twice and am going public this time around.  My first was born at a womens hospital in Perth where I had a room to myself and the second in a large public hospital in the north of Perth.  My experience wasn't as good there, except that I think the midwife was 100 times better than my first one!
I saw a GP a couple of times who gave me my referrals for my scans and for the anti-natal clinic, after medicare rebate that cost a total of $60, and that was all i spent on DD.  DS cost not a cent! (GP is bulk billing!)
I will be out of pocket $160 this time for my 12 week scan this time around, and maybe for 20 week scan, but that is all.  
A friend of mine was out of pocket $6k to be left on a trolley in the private hospital until a bed became available, and when it did, it wasn't in the maternity ward, but rather she was with granny.
I'm all for public!

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