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Emergency maternity care

(14 Posts)
Gigondas Wed 19-Oct-11 20:39:10

We have a second home In Paris - and planning on going for Xmas when will be 36/7 weeks pregnant (this is assuming that check prior to this ok that can travel but no reason to think will give birth early).

Just in case dd2 does put appearance In early, can anyone talk me through what emergency procedure is (ir if you are actually giving birth is this an emergency that they deal with as in uk). Alternatively any hospitals that better to go too (have been looking at the english speaking private ones on basis that not sure me or dh French will hold up to medical emergency).

I would prefer not to cancel trip on off chance something happens but prob as well to be prepared.
have insurance , e101 etc so that side of things should be resolved (if necessarily will pay)

Booboostoo Wed 19-Oct-11 21:07:34

To be honest I would reconsider the trip. 36/7 weeks is very close and are you sure you want to give birth in another country with another doctor?

OK, pregnancy/birth in France:
- you can go to any hospital you like, women here register with a hospital at 7 months and they are followed through to the birth. As you will turn up as an emergency you should go straight to the maternity emergency (at least in our area hospitals have a separate maternity emergency and I would assume the same to be true of Paris).
- you will be followed by MWs with docs and anaesthetists in attendance. Home births are very rare here, ELCS impossible. Epidurals are usually easily anbd quickly available.
- very few doctors/nurses/MWs in France speak anything other than French (at least in our neck of the woods, perhaps you might be more lucky in Paris) so don't necessarily count on finding an English speaker.
- as far as I know there is a shortage of maternity spaces in Paris but I suppose if you just turn up there won't be much they can say about it!
- pregnancy is covered 100% by public health so your e101 should cover you, however the hospital will want proof that you can pay before they examine you.

Gigondas Wed 19-Oct-11 21:09:08

Thanks boo - you are confirming what I thought to be case so maybe rethink trip

Booboostoo Thu 20-Oct-11 08:10:24

Oh one more thought it is almost impossible to collect cord stem cells in France, so if that is somthing you are interested in it's another consideration.

I don't know how much experience you've had with French doctors but in my experience they are nothing like UK docs. They are very paternalistic, don't share information and would make choices for you which might be an unpleasant environment to be in if any decisions had to be made.

Anyway, good luck with the rest of the pregnancy and birth!

thanksamillion Thu 20-Oct-11 08:43:54

I don't know anything about giving birth in france, but if you do go ahead you need to get Unborn baby cover as an add on to your insurance. Even if you have told them you are pregnant it only covers the baby while it's in you/on it's way out!

fraktious Thu 20-Oct-11 16:29:21

Tbh I wouldn't do it. Apparently they won't accept your UK maternity notes because they can't understand them so you would be treated as high risk - CFM, IV etc and they will charge you for everything which you will then need to reclaim. Periodic internals are standard and they still tend to follow to 1cm/hour rule. Depending on the MW/OB how you labour and deliver may be restricted.

I only found the risk management because I asked what would happen if I didn't have my handheld notes and went into labour at work which is covered by a different hospital - you are high risk until they know otherwise, so in my case until they'd got a copy of hospital records.

You are kept in for 3 days until the heelprick test is done, you won't get a private room unless you pay because you don't have a mutuelle and they can't be bothered recovering the cost from foreign insurance.

That sounds negative so I'll add a caveat. My maternity care was excellent, in retrospect I can't fault it, but it took 6 months of bartering them down from the default position to have the hands off labour and birth I wanted. In your shoes I'd reconsider because you may not have 6 hours to negotiate!

fraktious Thu 20-Oct-11 16:31:45

Oh and Paris maternities you need to register at more like 7 weeks and if you go and they're full they will transfer you to the nearest hospital with space. That might be a not very nice hospital, it might be a way away from your house.

Gigondas Thu 20-Oct-11 17:11:46

Thanks ladies- given am under consultant care Prob safer to stay here.

grin at idea of negotiating in French when in labour.

Booboostoo Fri 21-Oct-11 15:16:33

Just out of interest my experience of French maternity was totally different. They were willing to cover the birth with an S2 form which I got from the Oversees Healthcare Team in the UK. The S2 form was valid from 7 months to birth (the EHIC was not acceptable because I knew in advance I would be in France for a long period leading up to the birth so I had to apply for an S2 form) and then I was told the EHIC form would cover me and the baby for any emergencies as normal.

There was a small surcharge for the private room but French citizens would have had to pay that on top as well. The extra charges are always paid direct in France and you then have to recover them yourself from your private insurance, I've never heard of a hospital charging the insurance direct (although my knowledge is not extensive and I may be wrong on this). Everyone, hospitals, GPs, pharmacies, etc. hand out special receipts that you present to your private health care insurer, or in the case of the EHIC you reclaim from the UK.

In the end I gave birth in Greece, but in France they would have kept me in for 5 nights for VB or 7 for CS.

fraktious Fri 21-Oct-11 16:18:35

It's all changed. You now have a credit card type chip carte vitale and something from your mutuelle which is all computerised so I didn't pay a penny in April. Much simpler grin unless you still have an old style one which the new system doesn't have an option to process hmm

Booboostoo Fri 21-Oct-11 18:18:43

UK residents do not have carte vitales, they are only for French residents. UK residents are covered for emergency health care in the EU with the EHIC card but only up to the country's public health coverage (not 100% for everything in France). Going to another EU country to give birth is not considered an emergency so you need to apply for an S2 form stating why you cannot give birth in the UK. OP mentioned a second home in Paris so I assumed she is a UK resident on a holiday to France.

Gigondas Fri 21-Oct-11 18:54:43

Boo is right am uk resident not French resident so dont think property ownership of itself would satisfy the conditions .

fraktious Fri 21-Oct-11 18:59:05

I meant about the French citizen thing - if you have it then you don't need to pay. If you don't they'll charge through the nose, EHIC doesn't entitle you to free healthcare but does mean you can get reimbursed. Due to various admin cock ups I had to use my EHIC for a couple of things at A&E and had to pay and theoretically reclaim, except I reclaimed from sécu once it was all sorted.

But the system change means that now you either have you chip card and mutuelle or you pay for everything before they let you leave. or at least that's what the bureau d'administration said when I was stressing about not having the coverage sorted.

Booboostoo Fri 21-Oct-11 21:00:47

Yes with the S2 form the UK and France sort it out directly themselves, with the EHIC you have to pay, get the receipt and reclaim - not sure what would happen in case an EU non-French resident needed very expensive, emergency treatment though, surely they don't expect people to pay that do they?

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