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moving to Perth - and finding an obstetrician

(16 Posts)
FrogGreen Fri 24-Oct-14 11:17:21

I am feeling a bit clueless. We're moving to Perth (Western Australia, not Scotland) just after Christmas, and DC3 is due in March. I have health insurance that will cover private maternity care and delivery. However my efforts to book in with a private obstetrician have been completely fruitless, they all seem to be booked up from months ago (did all those ladies book with an o&g the instant they POAS?)

Does anyone know how this system all works? I have been warned off the public system but surely it can't be that bad, has anyone had any experience of it? Would be so grateful for any guidance or shared experience.

Padthai Fri 24-Oct-14 16:04:52

I had my DC in a public hospital in NSW. I had good care during my pregnancies, I work in health care and feel like I can judge the service and safety well.

If I had my children in the private system I would have ended up with c section each time as I had very complicated pregnancies, so very glad that I chose a public hospital despite having top private health cover.

In NSW there is a lot of snobbery about the public health system and so many of my friends were surprised that I chose a public hospital. I pointed out that I worked in a public hospital and that shut them up!

Some friends of mine have had babies in public hospital in WA with no problems . So what your being told might just be snobbery similar to my experience. Though I don't have first hand experience with WA health system so not sure.

For what it's worth what I would look for when booking a maternity unit would be the number of deliveries per year (the fewer deliveries the less skilled the staff will be ). I would also want to know the number of c sections per year as this is also an indication of skills. If you have had 2 vaginal deliveries it would be a shame to have a c section at this stage. The c section rate in some Australian private hospitals is eye watering, so worth thinking about. The other things you need to think of such as access to NICU , blood products, ante natal screening etc I would imagine would be very similar to UK standards. It is in NSW anyway.

For what it's worth if I became pregnant again I would be on the first flight back to Sydney. There is no way I would have a baby in my local nhs hospital. I work there so can say this with knowledge and certainty .

Sandgroper Fri 24-Oct-14 19:17:07

Hi FrogGreen

I had my DS2 in Perth 6 years ago and happy to chat with you about hospitals, obstetrics and the hospital system.

PM me if you want to chat! smile

chloeb2002 Fri 24-Oct-14 22:54:19

As someone who works in the hospital system.. Public and private.. I would not be paid to have a baby in the private system.
Just go to a gp, book in with the local hospital and have bub at a public hospital with tertiary backup, special care, nicu, Peads, icu for mum if needed.. The luck of the draw is you don't need any of it.. But why risk not having it?
Great public health is aus, and it's free! Save the money for bubs school fees wink
Gap free obstetrics are not common!

stargirl30 Sat 25-Oct-14 18:32:25

I had DS in Perth 3 years ago.
Care was easily equivalent to the UK.
Feel free to PM me.

FrogGreen Sun 26-Oct-14 07:29:41

Thanks so much for the shared exp, and reassurance! I really don't think I'll get a private O&G at this stage, so I'm going to do as you suggest chloeb and Pad and just go into the public system.

Sadly, it'll be a 3rd C-sec. My first 2 boys were big (4kg+) and not well positioned, and both came out the sun-roof. At least this time I won't have the disappointment of failed attempt at VBAC.

I was worried after being warned off WA public hospital by friends, but tbh they are friends all a bit older than me (like, my mum's generation) so I do wonder if they have recent experience to base it on. Also their warnings have all been a sort of " don't go public " said with narrowed eyes and scary face, with no details or even anecdote to go with. So yes Padthai I suspect snobbery rather than knowledge/experience.

LoveWA Tue 28-Oct-14 13:27:49

I had a baby this year in Perth, went public. Fantastic experience I couldn't knock it at all. Please feel free to PM. Best of luck.

KoalaDownUnder Tue 28-Oct-14 13:31:29

My sister-in-law had 3 babies in a Perth public hospital, and couldn't speak highly enough of it. And she's a nurse from the UK.

Shenton Wed 29-Oct-14 02:04:32

King edwards in subiaco is fantastic

Shenton Wed 29-Oct-14 02:04:44

And free

chloeb2002 Wed 29-Oct-14 02:10:00

Private health when you are older or need specialist stuff that's scarce in the public domain is great! I've just had a wrist reconstruction. Not cheap. Done privately. Would have been a 4 year wait publicly. Idealise of private system. Bread and butter stuff like obstetrics, emergency, crit care, Icu ... Public all the way!

Glastokitty Wed 29-Oct-14 03:15:01

Public hospitals here are amazing in my experience. I can't speak for maternity care but my son spent five days in PMH a few months ago and it was fantastic, far superior to NHS. And all free.

leggingsarenottrousers Wed 29-Oct-14 03:18:01

If you or baby end up with any serious problems you'll go to King Edward's Memorial (known locally as "KEMH" or "King Eddie's"!) as that has the specialists and highest level of NICU care.

When it's busy though they restrict admittance to highest need but I'm guessing a third c/s would see you referred there anyway.

skitter Wed 29-Oct-14 03:23:18

I'm not in Perth, but in Sydney, but I'm going through the public system for my second and so far it's been great. I had my son through the NHS in the UK and my experience in Australia has been better so far. My sister, who is a midwife here in Australia, recommended I go public based on her experience working in both public and private hospitals, particularly if the baby needs extra care unexpectedly. At my hospital you can use your insurance to be a private patient in the public hospital (getting a private room), or can pay for a private room in that's important (your partner can then stay over night).

chloeb2002 Wed 29-Oct-14 22:53:32

Using private cover in public sector has lots of little perks. Free TVs internet etc if it's availiable.grin

diggerdigsdogs Wed 05-Nov-14 20:06:36

Op I'm moving to perth in December from Sydney and had the same issue. I'm going private (health insurance covers it so why not) and found an obgyn last week who a family friend had used and raved about and they could book me in. Let me know and I'll pm details.

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