Private v public hospital?

ForumsBirth and LabourPrivate v public hospital?
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C
18 hours,8 minutes ago

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Posted Mon 21 Feb 2011 11:13
What are your experiences of the private and public hospital systems in Australia? Is private worth the associated costs?
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Yellow Digger
19 Apr 2010

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Posted Mon 21 Feb 2011 11:18

I had my baby in a private hospital and for me it was worth the expense. Obviously I have nothing to compare it to so may have had a similar experience in a public hospital. My obstetrician ws excellent and towards the end of my pregnancy when I started having complications I was very glad to have the services of a top obstetrician. I had my baby at North Shore Private Hospital and have no complaints, the midwives were excellent and both my baby and I were very well capred for. We will be going back there for baby number 2.

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Lynn
31 Mar 2010

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Posted Mon 21 Feb 2011 22:40
I've done both. All in all, the experience at the hospital itself was much the same. The public hospital I was at had private rooms and all.

The main reason I chose to go private with my 2nd was because I was minutes away from a c-sect with my first, because the doctor was young and inexperienced and was playing it safe. While I don't hold it against her, I was very glad that I had an experienced m/w who was willing to go over her head to the consultant on call. If I had one of the younger m/ws I reckon I would have now had two caesars. That's what I paid for a private OB this last time. I figured if she told me I needed to go c-sect, I would at least be able to trust it was unavoidable.

I'll be going back private for the 3rd we've planned, even though the Medicare changes mean it will cost 4x as much.
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Yellow Digger
19 Apr 2010

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Posted Tue 22 Feb 2011 09:29
The medicare changes make a big difference don't they. This time around using a private obstetrician will be so much more expensive.
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Liana
17 Dec 2008

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Posted Tue 22 Feb 2011 11:38
As a midwife who has worked at both public and private hospitals...there are many differences and similarities between the two.

Most women will elect to go to a private hospital because it seems nicer, has a private room and you have an obstetrician (who you know) there for the birth of your baby.

However, many public hospitals these days are well funded, look lovely, have private rooms and offer models of care where you have a known health care provider...often a midwife. (this model of care -having shown time and time again-provides good outcomes for babies and mothers).

It is a well known fact that attending a private obstetrician means that you are more likely to end up with a caesaren section, strong recommendations to have an epidural, or end up having a vacuum or forceps delivery (where the baby is pulled or sucked out of you (which can further provide complications like nasty tears, extreme pain, separation of your baby from you, problems with breastfeeding, bruising to your baby, longer recovery, problems with bonding and post natal depression)...whereas a public hospital has lower rates of this happening. (Sure if you need assistance with having your baby-that should happen)!

If you want the best chance of a natural birth and are willing to work with your body in achieving this- then choose a model of care that supports this. Obstetricians practise in a medical model of care- meaning that their belief of birth is that 'no pregnancy is normal until after the baby is born'...whereas a midwifes' belief of birth is that 'all birth is normal, until or unless medical intervention is needed' (and then sort). If you think of it along the lines of having a bad flu. When this happens- do you take some vitamins, rest some more, maybe take some supplements to help??...or do you visit an ear, nose and throat surgeon and see if they can help.

However, if you or your baby have particular health problems, then an obstetrician is an excellent choice of a health care provider as they are trained to specialise in high risk pregnancies and babies who are unwell or have compilations involved.

Having a baby in a private hospital also doesn't guarantee that your obstetrician will be the one who delivers your baby. Most of them work in teams- so you may end up with someone you don't know anyway. And besides- they only come for the last 10 minutes when the baby is being born- you do all the hard
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bea...

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Posted Tue 22 Feb 2011 20:06
I had my baby in the public system and had some complications which I wonder if they would of picked up had I been with a private obstetrician. All the doctors I have spoken to since said it was something that couldn't have been detected and that it wouldn't Have been any different going private. Once I was at the hospital and was told that I needed an emergency c section the care I received seemed first class. I was at the rpa and I think their public doctors are very well regarded. I also had my own room after the birth and while baby was in special care. Can speak highly of the care I received
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Lynn
31 Mar 2010

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Posted Tue 22 Feb 2011 21:37
Lots of generalisations there, Liana. I think it all depends on the OB you pick. I had a great OB who gave me lots of help so I could have a peaceful, no-intervention-needed birth second time round. With my first birth, I "needed" a vacuum extraction as I was so freaked out at feeling so out of control. This situation was entirely caused by the midwife on duty when I was pushing, who was not listening to me at all and was ignoring my requests.

It all depends on the luck of the draw in Public whether you get a good midwife or not, whereas you can do your research on individual OBs in private. I had an OB who makes 95% of her births as she comes in on days off as needed, and she was at the hospital for all of my labour (a full day) checking in on me four or five times.
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Kirily
29 Dec 2008

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Posted Tue 22 Feb 2011 22:07
I chose to use an OB for my care but have my bub in a public hospital as a private patient.

 I have very uncomplicated pregnancies and couldn't see the reason for the extra hospital costs however I like the idea of an OB for the care leading up to the event. This gave me the option of a private hospital if we weren't travelling very well.

I am very pregnant with my second and am doing the same thing. 
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Fee
30 Mar 2010

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Posted Thu 24 Feb 2011 16:49
I went private both times and was very happy to pay the associated costs.

I was low-risk and my labours were very natural.  No epidurals, no forceps etc.  I had a great BFing relationship.  So nothing negative about going through the private OB way.
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Tanya
31 Mar 2010

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Posted Tue 01 Mar 2011 15:31

Yep, I agree Lynn - it largely depends on the Ob.  And Liana's generalisations certainly don't apply to my Ob.  You must have worked with some difficult people to have that view Liana.

And no way would I want to have a baby in public hospital in Queensland so I went private.  I had GD as well, so that carries certain associated risks - the usual situation is continuous foetal monitoring, leading to less movement, greater likelihood of intervention, all with the risk of a big baby and shoulder dystocia.  So we had an excellent and very experienced paed on stand-by in the labour ward.   

If you are well informed and do your homework, you are far less likely to get pushed into things.  My Ob only very casually mentioned the possibility of a c-section if the baby was nowhere near engaging by week 39, because a scheduled one was better than an emergency one and first babies usually engage well before labour started.  In the end, she engaged, I was booked in for an induction at the end of week 40 (risk of placental deterioration), I had the prostin gel and no other intervention was needed.  Ob did suggest a small episiotomy but I said "no I can get her out on the next push", did so and just got a tiny internal graze.  He was okay with my decision to reject his advice and, as it turned out, my instincts were right.

She was BFing within a few minutes of being born and went on to feed for 17 months.  
 
As he said to me the next day, it was a textbook perfect labour and he certainly didn't earn his money.  Didn't give me a discount though lol.
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Polly-lou
31 Mar 2010

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Posted Thu 03 Mar 2011 20:37

No way would I stay a night in our public hospital - sure some may be nice but ours isn't one of those.

I am private all the way. I have a fantastic ob who has capably handed both my births with great outcomes.
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Lulu

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Posted Mon 07 Mar 2011 21:02
I went private and I will certainly go back again.  There is massive differences between private and public here - one being that if you go public you have to get your own food which I think is RIDICULOUS.  The other thing is that with my breastfeeding issues I spent majority of the time in my room without a top on (skin to skin and all that) and it would have been soooo much more stressful sharing a room - also, a friend of mine shared a room with a girl who had HEP B.. um, hello, shared TOILET ugh.
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Tanya
31 Mar 2010

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Posted Mon 07 Mar 2011 22:33

You're kidding!  How horrible, especially with all the bleeding, grazes etc after birth!  You'd be terrified to go anywhere near the toilet! 
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Lynn
31 Mar 2010

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Posted Mon 14 Mar 2011 00:14
Yipes, that is terrible, Lulu.

Did laugh at the first comment though - in my PRIVATE hospy, you had to go and get your own breakfast, continental only - even make your own toast!! :lol: I loved it though and of course, I wasn't the one fetching - that was H's job!
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samantha
22 Mar 2009

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Posted Wed 16 Mar 2011 07:24

I went public with my first baby and I am doing so again. I did go to a private fertility clinic to conceive and my doctor there ended up being my obsterician at the public hospital. I had excellent care, and cannot fault them in anyway. I do think its all down to personal choice and I guess non of us will be able to say for sure unless we have experienced both. I also couldnt justify spending that much money on something that I could get for free, the money I saved meant I could have longer off on maternity leave.

Im not worried about coming into contact with people with Hep B ect, for all I know I could share a toilet at work everyday with somebody who has Hep B. 
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Tanya
31 Mar 2010

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Posted Wed 16 Mar 2011 08:51

Yes, but you probably wouldn't both be bleeding everywhere.
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Lulu

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Posted Wed 16 Mar 2011 12:58
Agreed Tanya!
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