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Public or Private Hospital for the birth: WDYT?

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#26 Guest_cathode_*

Posted 14 March 2010 - 03:39 PM

I had much better level of care in the private system than I did in the public system.

I may just be jaded because the baby that I had in the public system I lost. But on going to emergency at the public womens hospital I was lied to by the doctor that saw me (she told me there was a good chance that my baby would survive. There was no chance that he could have survived - he had NO amniotic fluid). I had to beg to be admitted for obs.
I got turfed as soon as they could.
I was back within 12 hours.
I was made to wait 36hrs with baby feet sticking out of me (he was stuck and dead).
I had some trainee nurse try and tell me it was for the best as he looked like a downs (He did not have downs).
I was put onto an IV to make me dilate ... it was supposed to be incremented at regular intervals. They forgot, and only realised that no-one had done it after 5 hours!
I had a trainee anaethestist try NINE times to put an epidural in.
I had to beg on the OP table to be put under a GA.
While I was recovering someone stole the stuff that my mum had bought in for me. (food - as for 36 hours they would not allow me to eat).
After the op I was pretty upset and hysterical and I had the stupid nurse ask me why I was being "so mental" ...

So yeah. I HATE the public system. I dealt with one f*cker after another. I did not have dealings with even ONE person that showed me any compassion, or even any expertise in their field.

First "working day" after I was released I called my insurer and upped it to cover maternity to ensure that I would never have to go public again.

I have had 3 pregnancies in the private system and I have received nothing but top level care.

#27 SuperPuppy

Posted 14 March 2010 - 03:47 PM

QUOTE (cathode @ 14/03/2010, 04:39 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I had much better level of care in the private system than I did in the public system.

I'm so sorry to read about your experience!

If you never got the emotional support you needed, maybe consider chatting with other parents who can understand more about how to cope...

After we lost our 1st born in the public system (only because of a bed shortage) I became a phone counsellor for SANDS which became http://www.sidsandkids.org/ and I know that this organisation can help...


Edited by SuperPuppy, 14 March 2010 - 03:49 PM.

#28 kiansmum

Posted 14 March 2010 - 03:57 PM

You couldn't pay me enough to give birth in a private hospital!

And to those posters who wanted an Obs opinion, you guys should go private cos clearly a midwives point of view isn't good enough for you.

#29 Guest_cathode_*

Posted 14 March 2010 - 04:53 PM

QUOTE (SuperPuppy @ 14/03/2010, 01:47 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I'm so sorry to read about your experience!

If you never got the emotional support you needed, maybe consider chatting with other parents who can understand more about how to cope...

After we lost our 1st born in the public system (only because of a bed shortage) I became a phone counsellor for SANDS which became http://www.sidsandkids.org/ and I know that this organisation can help...


Thanks Jonathan.
It happened in 2003 and whilst I dealt with it pretty much by myself, I recovered from the loss quite well (considering). My 3 subsequent children went a long way toward the healing as well.

#30 mel7777777

Posted 14 March 2010 - 04:58 PM

Better food, rest, private room and a lovely time was had both times in a private hospital. They give the parents a romantic dinner together while baby is in the nursery to have some time together.

I was trying to work out ways to stay in the hospital longer as it was GREAT.

Perhaps that is just North Shore Private, perhaps others have had different experiences but worth every cent. I wasn't seriously talked out of epidurals unlilke mums in my mothers group who had babies in public systems.

#31 daviesjv

Posted 14 March 2010 - 07:28 PM

Superpuppy and Cathode - that's heart wrenching to read about your experiences. But thankyou both so much for sharing.  xxx

#32 elifranie

Posted 14 March 2010 - 09:41 PM

How I decide to go private... I'm a women. I'm pregnant hence not only I will give birth to a lovely baby, I can also DIE from the delivery. Even worse, my baby cold have DIE for some horrible reasons. Therefore, I want the BEST care for me and my baby. I want to be treated as a QUEEN in the hospital as I just gave birth! I want my child to have the best care. (How spoiled and selfish of me? yes. I thought I can be selfish just for this)

Having said that, it does not mean all private hopitals are good and all public hospitals are bad. On the contrary, it is all have to be individually assessed.

When I found out I was pregnant with DS 2 years ago, I research on MY OB that my GP had recommended. Then I research on the hospitals surrounding my areas including the private hospital that my OB recommended.

You can only do your best the rest is out of yoour hand. So I did my research.. HEAPS of research on everything about pregnancy (As I was strangely afraid od dying when I waas pregnant with my first).

I do not have to pay extra for the hospital yet I have to pay for the OB + the blood test + u/sound...  but if I can afford to pay for private insurance than I don't mind. I told DH if we have to cut on the movies, dinners, etc for a year that we will cos I want my OB! ( the truth is Midwives are the best OB are there for emergencies and I don't mind paying him for something that he will nnever have to do ie trying to save my life or baby in the delivery room)

Try to look for hospital that have a great support for b/feeding as that is also very important!

There is an assumption that private means drugs or Ceasarean. My birth experience are the opposites. No dramas (Thanks to TENS machine) no drugs (epidural, gas),  no ceasarean. I could have done it at home if I wanted to.. but could have means risking it to the unknown.

There are many things in life that I can RISK it but not this one.  Being pregnant and delivering your child is the most beautiful and dangerous thing that can happen to a women and her child. EVEN in this modern and develop country.

I heard so many stories that break my heart. I do not want to re-tell the stories or experience it myself.

Even after all the things that you can prepare, everything ALWAYS goes wrong on that day! My DD came out 10 minutes after I got to the hospital and 5 minutes before my OB arrived (at 4 am, He was pretty fast considering ....)  

From both experiences, I can say MIDWIVES are the best but they are not OB. I choose them over DH to hold my hands during the labour and to get me calm down. I trust them on helping me to push my child, thir encouragement are far better than DH.

But if something is wrong I want my OB there for me. 100%. No questions. (even Midwives will refer to OB if there is any complications right? so I just want MY OB not someone that happens to be there. Cos that means I'm risking it....) .

I don't think this help at all  rolleyes.gif

Just putting my own opinion down I guess.

All the very best for your delivery!

#33 Mianta

Posted 14 March 2010 - 09:56 PM

My personal and professional opinion is that a public tertiary hospital is the BEST place to get care as a patient, especially if there's a drama. I gave birth(three drug free natural vaginal births)in a fantastic public hospital in Sydney and feel I was given far better care in this hospital as part of the midwife program, then at my fancy looking workplace, a private hospital, that is always dangerously understaffed, has a crappy skill mix amongst the staff, even staff brought in from other areas that have no idea how to look after a maternity patient. Private health care isn't top notch, trust me on that.

#34 Guest_cathode_*

Posted 15 March 2010 - 12:04 PM

QUOTE (SleeplessinSydney @ 14/03/2010, 07:56 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Private health care isn't top notch, trust me on that.

I think it is relative.
My experience was at a Public Tertiary Hospital.

At the private hospital I chose for my 3 surviving children I had pretty much the same team of midwives look after me over the 4 years that I was in and out having children. 95% of the staff I came across I would class as excellent health providers. I also imagine that you would find both excellent and crap staff everywhere.
In my personal experience (and that is all I can speak for) I have found the ratio of excellent staff to crap staff much better in the private system.

edited to add-
I also really like that we had double beds and that family was encouraged to stay - if you had younger kids they provided cots etc. I also really like my own space, so if I would have had to share a room I would have totally borked.

Edited by cathode, 15 March 2010 - 10:41 PM.

#35 ~cackleberry~

Posted 15 March 2010 - 07:44 PM

I went private with my first DS, as I wanted the 'best' for my baby and I had in my head that this would be the best.  Although it was a great experience, I felt secluded in a room all by myself with no-one else to chat to and I felt the stay was too long.  For my second, third and fourth, I went public and the care was wonderful.  original.gif  For my fourth, I stayed in a Birth Centre.  Unfortunately, I couldn't birth in the birth centre like i'd originally hoped, as both of the rooms were full, but I was moved into one as soon as one was available.  You can only stay in there for 24 hrs, which suited me just fine.  I hate hospital.  My DH got to stay with me and helped me with the overnight feeds and nappy changes.  A great experience.

#36 Razman

Posted 16 March 2010 - 12:46 PM

I started private and ended up public with DS due to complications. I was a risk patient from the start and wanted a specialist to look after me. Unfortunately if you labour before 32-34 weeks private hospitals in general can't accomodate you - they don't have NICU's.

I found the comment on NICU's interesting - my experience was you went to the nearest hospital with an available NICU bed. I started labour at 26 weeks and delivered at 28 weeks and was accomodated in 3 hospitals with ambulance trips between. I was moved whenever they decided imminent birth was threatening AND the hospital I was in ran out of NICU beds.

If I was do this again I would go private again (loved my OB and the SCN staff at our private hospital were fantastic when we were transferred back once DS no longer needed ICU/HDU) but would research who the top OB's were in the 5 nearest tertiary hospitals were so I could go private with them in case. My experience of a different registrar every morning on rounds and never getting the same message on my health and my bub's would mean I'd try to be private even in a public setting - just to see the same face every morning.

Superpuppy and Cathode - my deepest sympathies on your loses.

#37 FearsomeFeralFreak

Posted 16 March 2010 - 09:46 PM

I've done both and the experiences were WORLDS apart.
Private, without a doubt.

#38 Sloane Peterson

Posted 16 March 2010 - 10:07 PM

My personal and professional opinion is that a public tertiary hospital is the BEST place to get care as a patient, especially if there's a drama.

Unfortunately many women (myself included and I live in one of the most populated areas of Sydney) do not have access to a tertiary hospital because of zoning restrictions - or perhaps they live in a rural area.

I can't remember who mentioned it, but at the end of the day it comes down to what hospitals are available to you. Compare your local public hospital to the private option and weigh up the benefits.

#39 KirstenMc

Posted 18 March 2010 - 12:16 PM

I have had 3 children, all were public at the local birth centre at the public hospital. Three drug free, vaginal births with no interventions. I *loved* my midwife for my last two births. For the first birth (8 years ago) they didn't have the primary midwife approach and we had someone on the day we hadn't met before. Still, all in all three fabulous experiences, I would never go anywhere else.

According to my friend who is a doula, her clients who go to the private hospital here have much higher rates of intervention, much lower chance of have a natural birth, even if that's what they are aiming for, than whose who go public (be it in the birth centre or the hospital).

#40 hickorydickorydock

Posted 18 March 2010 - 12:27 PM

QUOTE (Alina0210 @ 10/03/2010, 03:46 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
If your wanting a Normal natural delivery then public is the way to go... its free (other than blood tests and ultrasound)...

Are you in Aus??? I have never had to pay for ultrasounds or blood tests I don't understand...If you are in Aus is it different in other states??

I don't understand the public versus private...Is it just so you have a private room??

I went public and I had private rooms to myself both times one in a regional hospital..and I was the only one in there who gave birth wink.gif And one in a major city public hospital..

I had great experiences in these hospitals and I see going private a waste of time..

Theres no gurantees if you do go private..

#41 Guest_cathode_*

Posted 18 March 2010 - 02:15 PM

QUOTE (hicokydickorydock @ 18/03/2010, 10:27 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Theres no gurantees if you do go private..

No guarantees of what?

In private system I was guaranteed to have my Obstetrician for the entire length of my pregnancies and a consistent level of care with someone who both knew me and my history very well.

When I was public I was in there for nearly a week and I didn't see the same care provider more than once even though I had 8-10 health staff in and out of my room day in day out.

#42 snoopytj

Posted 19 March 2010 - 08:09 PM

With DS1 I started out public and changed to private at 30wks as there was some concerns for the delivery and I didn't feel very confident with the way things were being done at the hospital. I saw different midwives everytime, my first aapointment wasn't until 24wks, (lucky I had organised my 20wk scan myself) the appointments were 2min in and out the door and I being mu first baby I felt scared and stressed about the complications that were a high chance of happening at the birth and noone in the public hospital addressing them with me.

Changing to private was the best decision I ever made. My ob was excellent and saw me nearly every week and did an ultrasound at each appointment to keep an eye on everything and put my mind at ease. I ended up needing to have a caesar and I am so thankful I could have my brilliant ob do it. I barely even had a scar.

We couldn't book in quick enough with the same ob and private hospital with DS2 and again had a happy and stree-free birth.

Even though the medicare rebates have become pathetic on obstetrics now, we will definitely be going private again with #3. We will just be leaving a bigger gap this time so we can save for the greater out-of-pocket expenses.

Goodluck with your choice original.gif

#43 Stained

Posted 20 March 2010 - 10:45 AM

we went private all the way. it is a very expensive option and now looking back i would have prefered to have a room at the private hospital and seen a midwife/OB at a public hospital and had our baby that way (with the widwife/OB coming to me in the private hospital). the private hospital we have chosen works closely with the public hospital and they are no less than 5 minutes away from each other with the OB's wking at both places. This would have ensured that the people we saw during our preganacy where the same people and that they are accessable at both locations.
dnt get me wrong our doctor is great,but the money we are spending we didnt really have and we could have done without the extra debt.
once u choose private exclusively everything cost u money, every blood test & scan. But i found out later that if you take ur referal for ur blood work etc to ur normal GP they can recommend you to someone who will either do it for cheap or free in the public sector.
if ur pasisonate about going private then do it but research how u can do all the extras for minimal cost. we love the hospital our babies going to be born in, we have to have a c section because we have placenta privia so regardless if we where public or not this would have happened, and because of this i find our initialy decision to go private has taken a bit of the "scare" out of the whole proceedure.
its all about personal choice private hospitals do have more comfort and for the cost of health insurance why not spoil yourself, we just plan to not spend a small fortune on all the extras associated with pregnancy next time yyes.gif

Edited by Leaningmum, 20 March 2010 - 11:00 AM.

#44 emille

Posted 26 March 2010 - 12:23 AM

I had all 4 of my children in public hospitals, the first two in a birth centre, the last two (twins) had to be born in the delivery ward, as the local birth centre wouldn't take a twin delivery. After a lot of research, I chose public over private to avoid unnecessary intervention. With the twins, I couldn't find a single OB in the area who would consider vaginal delivery, let alone natural (no drugs). I was very fortunate that the OB I was assigned in the public hospital was pro-vaginal delivery, and was willing to take my wishes into account rather than telling me what was supposed to happen.
In all my births, I had continuity of care. This is not confined to the private system.
The birth centre was fabulous. My husband, newborn baby and I spent our first night together in a double bed in the birth centre. I chose the early discharge, and we had a midwife visit us at home for the next 6 weeks. If I were to change anything, it would be to hire a fulltime mothercraft nurse or similar for the first fortnight at least. DOn't waste money on private hospital stays - get them to come to you!
Having natural births was important to me - mainly because I know the baby benefits from a natural birth (in a normal pregnancy/delivery - obviously not everyone's situation) and because the recovery time for the mother is much faster than a caesarean. And I'm not keen on anyone slicing open layers of my stomach muscles! So I went public, because had I gone private, odds are I would have had at least one caesar.
Someone has already mentioned NICU - private hospitals don't have them. A set of triplets died in my city recently because their mother was labouring in the private hospital, things weren't going well and the private hospital didn't transfer them quickly enough. One was stillborn, two died after. If your birth has any risk indicators, go public with a NICU.
Good luck!  

#45 Soontobegran

Posted 26 March 2010 - 12:35 AM

mumtomakandissy - the facts speak for themselves drug free natural births are rarities in hospital, I didn't make it up.

Oh, which facts are they?
The fact that I know is that approximately 70% of women have normal vaginal deliveries and if they are not drug free it is because it is what the client wanted.

Edited by soontobegran, 26 March 2010 - 12:36 AM.

#46 jackie-c

Posted 26 March 2010 - 02:27 PM

I had both babies publicly, the first with midwives the second, with my own obstetrician but in a different public hospital. i cannot fault the care I received in labour, yet post-natal is another matter. I suppose its the hospital in which you go to. But in these times where the government is fighting to gain contri=ol, there is places that lack professionalism and unfortunately this is one of them.

#47 coreis

Posted 01 April 2010 - 07:47 AM

I went private for both pregnancies but have top cover so didn't pay one cent extra for the hospital both times. I didn't like the hospital 1st time as the nurses & midwives gave me conflicting advice - not great for your 1st bub!! I did my research the 2nd time & went to a different hospital & couldn't fault it. The other thing I can recommend is to find out if you OB has a gap agreement with you health insurer. My first OB & sundry assistants didn't so I was out of pocket about 10% of the total cost, while the 2nd one did & I didn't have to pay one cent apart from the paediatrician!! I have 2 major public hospitals wher I live & have heard mixed things about them, so I think it's very dependent on the situation & who you cares for you at the time. One reason why I went private was so that I could have more control over my care.

So my advice is to find out as much as you can about your hospital options & how this fits with your expectations. Ultimately the most important thing is that you come out with a healthy bub & healthy mum.

#48 dancerinthedark326

Posted 11 April 2010 - 12:22 AM

I went public for my first and I'm going private with my currently pregnancy. Although, In some ways I'm regretting taking the private route this time. With my first pregnancy, on the advice of my colleagues who were studying their PhD's alongside me, I opted to go to the local birth centre under the care of a midwife. My colleagues told me that they ended up substantially out of pocket taking the private option and that the birth centre was the way to go if I wished to try for a natural birth.
Generally, I had a good experience at the birth centre. The faults I would point out would be a high staff turnover amongst the midwives, (one of the midwives allocated to me, was new to the profession and she quit  because she didn't feel confident... and it showed). Secondly, discharge was really quick.. 11 hours for me, and follow-up virtually non-existant ( I got a phone call about 3 weeks later). However, it's a trade off, because this time we're fully covered so thought we would try the private route, but honestly, it's been overkill. So, many trips to the obstetrician, more than I think is really necessary and we are out of pocket a whole lot more.
If I'd not initially been pregnant with twins, I would have entered my name for the birth centre ballot again (they don't accept twin pregnancies).If you have a good support network around you to help you at home after the birth, I'd say go public.

#49 Soontobegran

Posted 11 April 2010 - 12:43 AM

If you really want a natural birth stay home, your chances are slim in hospital, public or private.

There is no guarantee of a natural birth no matter where you decide to deliver----not even at home.
Fortunately the majority of births in hospital ARE STILL normal vaginal deliveries. In my experience we could go days between instrumental deliveries or emergency C/S.

OP- I am surprised your Health Insurance has so many shortfalls sad.gif Is this the level of cover they recommened for you when you joined up with the plan of getting pregnant?

A cheaper option for you would be a private patient in a public hospital, perhaps you could find an obstetrician who is affiliated with a major women's hospital?

#50 narti bear

Posted 11 April 2010 - 05:59 PM

just-call-me-martha - i went private. got myself a fancy well known ob from sydney, went to a fancy well known private hospital. i did this cause i was paranoid about having problems cause i'm in my late 30's. i ended up having a c section as bub was frank breech. notwithstanding the fancy ob and hospital i ended up with a wound infection. i now have a scar which is lumpy and hard where the wound opened up and bled and is hardly noticeable in the areas which were ok. i don't think private ob/hospital has any bearing on things like a bloody c section!!!!!!!

having said that - i would want to go private if i had a second child. for some reason i feel better seeing the same person each visit. but i will probably go public because of the ridiculous amount that medicare now refunds. it just costs too much.

p.s.  an example of cost for me was as follows:

initial visit with ob - $200
each subsequent visit - $100
ob management fee - $4000
assistant surgeon - $750
anaesthetist - $1200
theatre fee - $493
blood tests/pathology approx - $400 all up
padeatrician - $500 all up (4 visits)
health fund excess - $400
13 week scan/NTS testing approx - $300
20 week scan approx - $300
ie. nearly $10,000 altogether.  i did get some of this back from medicare.  not nearly enough

Edited by narti bear, 11 April 2010 - 06:06 PM.

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