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Cost for Private Hospital (no insurnace) - Canberra

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#1 Sarra

Posted 28 March 2017 - 12:49 PM


I know this may have been asked many times but it would be good to get an updated figure,

We wanting to know the cost going to private hospital without private health insurance cover,

we bough insurance but it's few weeks short, so we are in bit of dilemma of deciding which option is the best? Could anyone please share their cost/experience?

We want to go private if we able to afford but not out of the budget, many thanks all!

I am based in Canberra though, any suggestions would also be great!

#2 purpleduck

Posted 28 March 2017 - 01:00 PM

I think you would need to call the hospital itself to get a quote?

Also wouldn't you need a private OB who delivers there? The gap payments I assume can vary quite a lot and don't forget if there are complications etc, you may be up for additional costs eg NICU or anesthetists etc.

#3 Lady Gray

Posted 28 March 2017 - 01:05 PM

My experience was that although we had private insurance we chose to go via the public system.  Being based in Sydney the private OBGYN cost were super expensive, a couple of my friends who live in the same area were $5K plus out of pocket.  

My birth experience was a positive one and I felt comfortable with the shared care (via my GP and the hospital midwives). I did see a different midwife each visit but that didn't bother me.

I had an amazing midwife for the birth and we were lucky enough to end up with a private room (which cost $250 out of pocket for two nights).  I ended up checking out early because I didn't have any complications and wanted to go home and have a shower and be in my own bed/home.   My husband didn't stay overnight (I wanted him to go home and sleep properly versus on the pull out bed) but was there from first thing in the morning and brought us food for each meal time (he has a particular hatred for hospital food).

I've visited a number of friends who've had private births and there is no doubt their rooms were nicer, in particular the ones who got sent to the hotel near the hospital (I can't remember what this program is called).  

I would definitely go public again.  But that is because I cannot stomach being out of pocket $5K plus.  I find it particularly infuriating that we have quite a high level of private health insurance and yet still would be out of pocket for my pregnancy and birth (but I won't start on this rant or I will never end it!)

ETA:  I had an epidural and it did occur to me that going public I would have been worrying about the cost, ditto had I needed a c-section etc.

Edited by Lady Gray, 28 March 2017 - 01:06 PM.

#4 Luci

Posted 28 March 2017 - 01:07 PM

Op you should contact the private hospital that you are considering using for further info. They can probably supply you with details on cost.

#5 happygoluckyinoz

Posted 28 March 2017 - 01:12 PM

So I think it varies on the hospital and the OB you choose, but I made a list of all my costs and what PHI/Medicare covered and what I was out of pocket - just to give you a super rough idea! (I'm WA).

The entire cost came to $17,168.18 this includes:
blood tests
doc appointments
ob appointments
ob management fee
theater costs (emerg section)
follow up appointments

medicare paid $3,916 of that
PHI paid $9,019 of that

My out of pocket came to $4,232

Edited by happygoluckyinoz, 28 March 2017 - 01:13 PM.

#6 Sugared

Posted 28 March 2017 - 01:20 PM

I had a baby in a Canberra private hospital a couple of years ago. Straightforward birth, no complications. According to the statement we received afterward, our PHI paid out approx $10,000 for delivery and hospital stay. We paid a few hundred more to cover specialists gaps. That was not including any prenatal care.

#7 harryhoo

Posted 28 March 2017 - 01:30 PM

I had a baby private in Canberra. The OB alone was $3,500 management fee plus over $100 for each visit. Scans were around $360 or more. Anesthetist would have been $1500 if we had neded one. All up it was about $5-6000 out of pocket and we had phi.
We had phi when I had 2nd baby but decided to go public. Went to TCH and had a much better experience without the cost:-)

#8 born.a.girl

Posted 28 March 2017 - 01:34 PM

OP just remember that what hospitals get paid by health funds, is not necessarily what they charge people who are not covered.

All of the health funds have agreements with the hospitals about what they'll pay, which means what people have had paid out on their behalf is unlikely to be the amount someone without insurance pays.

What if your baby is in the special care nursery for several days?

Edited by born.a.girl, 28 March 2017 - 01:45 PM.

#9 happygoluckyinoz

Posted 28 March 2017 - 01:49 PM

View Postborn.a.girl, on 28 March 2017 - 01:34 PM, said:

What if your baby is in the special care nursery for several days?

This would be my main concern with not having PHI - it could really snowball and is not in your control. Some people have run of the mill deliveries and births, others don't and it is a real lottery.

If I didn't have PHI I would go public, unless you've got a massive savings pot you are willing to hand over and cost isn't an issue that is.

#10 Wonderstruck

Posted 28 March 2017 - 02:02 PM

I think the hospital costs are just not affordable for most without insurance especially on top of all the other out of pocket costs.

This is especially the case if you have an unexpectedly complicated birth like I did.

I did not expect to need an epidural, an emergency caesar an ICU stay and bubs admired to special care nursery. some of these had some out of pockets but worse would be without PHI. I didn't have to pay anything for bubs to be in special care as that was covered by the PHI.

I had PHI and haven't got all the bills back yet but (I'm in Sydney):

I was out of pocket about $4k for my OB - the health fund paid about $1,500 towards the delivery fee (my OB had a no gap arrangement with my insurer)

My hospital excess of $450

A few hundred dollars here and there for scans etc.

A few hundred dollars for my surgical assistant and paediatrician.

I am yet to receive the anaesthetists bill but that I hate to think as he did a epidural on a Sunday arvo and monitoring in the Caesar from 10ish at night till 1am

All my blood tests in hospital due to significant blood loss were cover between medicare and PHI.

Personally I think there are too many unknowns to go private. I already have a few unexpected but not unmanageable out of pocket costs despite PHI - they would be far more without it.

Im sure you'll get a great level of care even if it's not private as you had planned.

Edited by Wonderstruck, 28 March 2017 - 02:03 PM.

#11 UniKitty

Posted 28 March 2017 - 02:32 PM

My private hospital birth - 34 week emergency c/s, 1 week in hospital prior, baby in NICU/SCN for 2 weeks cost my PHI $28,000

And that does not include the costs for my antenatal care of weekly ob appts, multiple scans etc.

I'd go public if I were you.

#12 Jingleflea

Posted 28 March 2017 - 02:53 PM

From memory in the ACT, if your baby needs special care they get transferred to the public hospital anyway.

I know(7 years ago anyway) John James wasn't equipped for much special care, and if you went into labour before 34 weeks you went public too.

But ring and check.

Everyone I know has had really good experiences going public in Canberra.

#13 Cimbom

Posted 28 March 2017 - 02:54 PM

I'm pretty sure that in most cases, the hospital with not allow you to 'self fund' private care as the cost can vary enormously

#14 born.a.girl

Posted 28 March 2017 - 03:00 PM

View PostNastyflea, on 28 March 2017 - 02:53 PM, said:

From memory in the ACT, if your baby needs special care they get transferred to the public hospital anyway.

I know(7 years ago anyway) John James wasn't equipped for much special care, and if you went into labour before 34 weeks you went public too.

But ring and check.

Everyone I know has had really good experiences going public in Canberra.

Yeah, when I had a high risk pregnancy, I had to get to 34 weeks before they'd consider a private hospital birth (elective caesar, but warned that could be as early at 26 weeks).

#15 Bugster

Posted 28 March 2017 - 03:03 PM

View PostNastyflea, on 28 March 2017 - 02:53 PM, said:

From memory in the ACT, if your baby needs special care they get transferred to the public hospital anyway.

I know(7 years ago anyway) John James wasn't equipped for much special care, and if you went into labour before 34 weeks you went public too.

But ring and check.

Everyone I know has had really good experiences going public in Canberra.
John James doesn't have a nicu but TCH and Calvary do (Calvary is lower grade last time i had a bub so if high care sent to TCH) but both these hospitals take private paitents & have seperate private rooms.

If you are close to the border I have heard great things about Queanbeyan hospital's redone mat ward.

#16 cait81

Posted 28 March 2017 - 03:41 PM

You can be a private patient in Calvary public. There are a couple of OBs who do this - most based in Bruce. I think my friend paid about $5000 in total for a c section

#17 Stylus

Posted 28 March 2017 - 05:08 PM

Maybe you could ring your insurer and ask if they could backdate your cover by a few weeks if you pay the extra premium...a friend that worked for a health insurer said that they did this for customers sometimes if their baby was due slightly earlier than the expiry of the waiting period.

Otherwise you'll probably have to go public.

#18 Lallalla

Posted 28 March 2017 - 06:20 PM

TCH has a NICU and a special care nursery, Calvary just has special care. Not sure about JJ but I thought they had special care too. The special care nursery is where they go for feeding issues and fattening up (generally 34-37 weeks) anything more than that is NICU.

I have a friend who was booked in at JJ but had to give birth at TCH and did so as a private patient. Though once the baby is born they're public as there are no private NICU beds in Aus (or at least that's what the wife of an obs I was talking to told me), don't know about Special Care.

For what it's  worth I gave birth at Calvary twice as a public patient and can't fault them. I also have a friend who hasn't done it once there privately and once as a public patient and saved themselves $10k she said - and they have private health insurance (she was high risk both times with lots of scans - not sure if that pushes up out of pocket prices or it's standard)

#19 MrsLexiK

Posted 28 March 2017 - 08:11 PM

Insurance paid out something like $13k plus for my first (including special care nursery for my son), we were out of pocket $1000? With bills that insurance or Medicare didn't pick up (not including the excess). had we gone with any other OB at the hospital, it would have been closer to $4k out of pocket for us so $17-$18k.

This is in Victoria but was giving you an idea of what it costs with scn. We were lucky we got discharged and because we lived so close they were happy to have him seen as an out patient. Then just at the pa da rooms and mchn etc. originally they wanted him in for another 2-3 nights (without us) that would have bought the bill up to around $20k

#20 Beqa

Posted 28 March 2017 - 08:20 PM

OP, is there a specific reason you want to go private?  You might be able to get what you want without having to go to a private hospital.

I had awesome experiences birthing in a public hospital.  Amazing midwives, an awesome obstetrician as required for DS1 and shared a room with one other or was on my own. Left with a $0 bill.

I recently had surgery in a fancy scmancy private hospital. Shared a room and bathroom with five (!!!) other women. The bathroom was putrid :sick: Left with a huge bill.

Edited by Displayanome, 28 March 2017 - 08:20 PM.

#21 cfwact

Posted 28 March 2017 - 09:23 PM

I wouldn't risk going private without insurance for all the other reasons others have outlined.

If you are after continuity with a care provider, Canberra hospital has midwifery-led caseload programs where you see the same midwife for each appointment prenatal, they attend your birth, and will visit you at home as frequently as you want  for up to 6 weeks after birth. They have this service for both low-risk (Birth Centre), and for high-risk (In collaboration with obstetricians through the 'Catch program).

Canberra Hospitals post natal ward is also all private rooms with a day bed for partners to stay overnight (with the exception of one double bed room but they try to only put women there who will only need to stay one night- you would be unlucky to get that room).

Canberra has a pretty good public maternity system compared with other states, we are so lucky.

#22 seepi

Posted 28 March 2017 - 09:46 PM

ACT has Calvary Bruce and John James for private options. Both have Special Care nurseries.

John James has mainly private rooms unless really full, and is entirely private.

Calvary Bruce has private rooms for private patients - unless full and 4 person rooms for public.

Calvary Bruce you can book baby into special care as a public patient when they are born if they need it.

You can go 'private in public' at Calvary Bruce, but it means you pay for your private OB, but stay in the crummy public rooms. Not recommended.

You can choose to pay for care at private hospitals, but you'll have to contact them to find out costs. but I know the rate per night for the room is a lot on it's own, then there is the anaesthetist, and the OB, which are thousands.

I have heard very good things about QBN public. Might be worth a tour?

#23 Cheesy Sanga

Posted 28 March 2017 - 09:51 PM

Unless you're rolling in cash like Scrooge McDuck, you probably can't self fund a private hospital birth. It's not the cost of a straightforward healthy pregnancy and birth, it's the cost of unexpected issues. If you and/or bub is unwell, the bill could be $50,000+. It's not worth the financial risk.

Check with your hospital cover insurance, they may be able to offer you some assistance.

#24 Cheesy Sanga

Posted 28 March 2017 - 09:55 PM

Nothing to do with a birth, but this is my recent quote for a private surgery (15-30 minute surgery):

Surgeon 1,000
Anaesthetist 1,000
Theatre 2,400
Overnight stay 2,600

Doctors and hospitals are expensive!

#25 SeaPrincess

Posted 28 March 2017 - 10:16 PM

When I had DS2 10 years ago, the private hospital accommodation cost alone was $500/night, and I spent a total of 4 weeks across 3 admissions during the pregnancy. When I was discharged, he was admitted for 2 weeks, although TBH, if we were public, he'd probably have been sent home.

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