This is a topic Sam and I thought about way back before we even entertained the thought of trying to start a family.
Whether to go public or private when choosing a hospital to deliver our baby.
As someone who has worked in the public health system, I hold it in quite high regard.
If you had asked me a couple of years ago, I probably would have said just go public.
BUT, when I first found out I was pregnant, I really hadn’t made my mind up about what I wanted to do.
So, I did what most people do… and turned to google for an answer.
My googling revealed that some people reported having had an awesome experience with the private system, being able to stay with their partner in a private room for the first 5 days along with their newborn, with all their meals etc sorted for them (plus the option to get a full night’s sleep if they so desired).
Unfortunately, others said that it was unbelievably expensive for them to check in as a private patient, they got hit with extra surprise costs and didn’t even get a private room, swearing they would go public to save on costs next time around!
There were some horror stories about public hospitals too, where ladies spoke about spending days in labour and being refused pain relief (like an epidural) due to miscommunications between staff… scary stuff!
Then on the flip side, other new mums and dads said they found the public system a breeze, no hassles, got a private room and the Doctor of their choice, access to classes and support without paying a cent!
Nothing really helped me make up my mind. There seemed to be positives and negatives on both sides.
Since I had to go see my GP for blood tests and all those other fun discussions and referrals you get when you find out you’re pregnant, I decided to ask her opinion on the public / private debate while I was there.
She really said it was up to me, but recommended I go private at least for the first and then see how I felt for any remaining children after that.
I thought that sounded like pretty good advice.
Looking back now, I’m glad we did go private.
Although it has been a bit costly…
(I know people talk about how expensive it is to have kids… but you know what else is expensive!? NOT having kids, apparently!)
I’m glad we’ve had access to an OB who is also a fertility specialist, as it has meant we have only dealt with 1 Doctor (other than my GP) through both pregnancies, miscarriages, and the whole process of finding out what caused them.
I like that we have been able to build that relationship and I know I can trust my OB to do everything he can to help us. Plus, I know he will always call or text immediately when it comes to passing on information about test results, or anything else that we would consider urgent from our point of view.
I suspect we probably wouldn’t have access to that level of service if we opted to go public (although, when you go private, you usually have to book your OB the second you find out you’re pregnant, before you even get the referral, to make sure you get the one you want!).
But in saying that, I know our situation is a fairly unique one, and I agree that the private system isn’t for everyone.
I think the public and private health systems have both positive aspects and unfortunately a few negative ones.
So, we’re keen to know… whether you’ve; already got kids, are planning to have a baby, already pregnant, or you’re onto your second, third, fourth, fifth… or so child, would you opt to have your baby as a public or a private patient?
Have you gone both public and private? Which did you think was better?
Look forward to hearing your thoughts!
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