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Birth options in Ireland

(15 Posts)
birthoptions Sat 08-Oct-11 08:41:47

My DSis is 9 weeks pregnant and in Ireland (I am in UK)
We have a question for those who may know.

Should she go public or semi private for antenatal care?

advice appreciated

birthoptions Sat 08-Oct-11 08:56:58


roisinanna Sat 08-Oct-11 10:27:50

As far as I know there is very little difference but if she can go semi I would.. In the words of the master of the national maternity hospital they are 'on a knife edge' whatever she can afford she should.. (lots of people disagree but if she had health cover she should use it )

Gooseysgirl Sat 08-Oct-11 11:34:33

Hi Birthoptions,
I'm in the opposite situation.. am expectant Irish mum living in UK. To be perfectly honest if I were in Ireland I would be definitely going semi-private as I paid health insurance for years there and some (but not much) of my care would have been covered - but that is a personal choice, I would just like the reassurance of regular appts and scans with a consultant which I'm not getting here... but I should say that so far I'm happy with the care I've had on the NHS. Most of my close friends (all were on first babies) have gone semi-private/private recently and it works out around 3500 euro (they are all living in Cork so went to CUMH). That said I know of plenty of women who have done both and say there is little or no difference in the care, and most women are now going public as they can't afford private due to recession... in an emergency it's said there is virtually no difference in care between private and public. As a private patient you are not guaranteed a private room if the hospital is busy, it's the luck of the draw. I would recommend you have a look at the threads on the website - this discussion regularly comes up! I've found it a superb site, and women there are a little bit.. ahem.. less judgmental than on this site!

birthoptions Sat 08-Oct-11 19:58:55

Thanks I will this on to her.

rhetorician Sat 08-Oct-11 20:05:17

I'd disagree completely with gooseysgirl - semi-private is a total waste of money; you will see a consultant, yes, for about 5 seconds, how many scans you do or don't get will depend on the hospital (my dp had baby no. 1 in Holles St, only 20 week anomaly scan - at about 23 weeks!; baby no. 2 on the way, under the Rotunda, more scans there).

We actually switched from semi-private last time to public midwife led, we had a lovely midwife and all was well. If there's a problem you will get excellent consultant care anyway, all you are doing is lining the pockets of the insurance company and the consultants.

Really, I wouldn't bother - keep your health insurance claims for things that you might actually need it for

twinnies26 Sun 09-Oct-11 08:27:08

i think it depends on what level of care one wants/expects for the pregnancy. My ID twin girls were delivered by c-section a few days ago - I'm in Holles St now as a semi-private patient.

If things like smaller ward and meetings with consultant are important to you - then semi-private is best. With my semi-private policy i am here in a small private room, have my own personal breast pump etc... little things that i find make one's stay more comfortable and less stressful (my babies are premis and in ICU for the next few weeks) My friend had her baby here last week as a public patient,couldn't get a pump, a bed for quite a while after delivery! and never even met her consultant once from start to finish of pregnancy!

That being said - if there are complications - like my pregnancy - twin to twin transfusion - you will receive almost the same as private care for no extra cost public or semi-private (private care with my consultant advertised as up to 5,000) I saw the twin consultant 19weeks in a row and he also was at our delivery which can be really expensive and all we paid was 1,000 and used my VHI cover (approx 900 per year) If she is paying for a policy - use it!otherwise what are you putting all that money into it for?!

I guess everyone has different opinions and preferences - but i would be semi-private anyway!

MelanieWiggles Sun 09-Oct-11 09:17:51

I think gooseygirl is talking about private care rather than semi-private? I think the fees for SP are 500-1000 euro depending on the hospital.

Does your sister have insurance OP? If not her options are probably limited to public care only.

birthoptions Sun 09-Oct-11 09:38:36

She has insurance but trying to decide what to do.
Thanks for the input everyone.

MelanieWiggles Sun 09-Oct-11 10:27:41

If you look on the Irish boards (,, you will see that this is a pretty emotive topic in Ireland. It tends to get the same sort of heated debate that vaccinations posts get on mumsnet!

Your sister will get good care irrespective of what choice she makes. However, I think SP care is a bit more pleasant than public care - slightly shorter queueing times, a named consultant (although she would see midwives on most vists), smaller wards, higher staff to patient ratio (I think), that sort of thing*. If her deliveries are straightforward and she does not need extra care, and will be out of hospital within 2 days of delivery these things are less important. If she ends up with a longer stay these can make a big difference. Also, as roisinanna said, cutbacks are having an impact on maternity services and sadly, this is usually more evident in public care.

My own view is that if the SP fees are not too much of a stretch for your sister, and this is her first baby, I would go semi-private. If she has had previous, uncomplicated pregnancies and deliveries, public is probably fine.

*will caveat the above by saying that I don't have direct experience of the above as went private on my children - so I could be completely wrong.

PamBeesly Sun 09-Oct-11 12:05:25

I'm Irish, pregnant in Ireland and I would tell her to go PUBLIC! the care is excellent, I haven't waited more than 15 minutes for any appointment and have had two scans already, seen a combination of midwives, consultant and my own GP. My next scan is at the end of the month.
It really depends on what your sister would be more comfortable with. She can PM me if she likes

I'm 20+2

rhetorician Sun 09-Oct-11 15:18:00

I think it probably depends a lot on where you live - my DP is on the Rotunda's Domino scheme which is excellent. It is true that the cuts are having an impact (e.g. physio seemingly non-existent except for the most severe cases of SPD); it's a personal choice in the end, although I'd just echo pam and say that the public system has been just fine for us (we also ended up having a cvs because of high risk for downs, which the Rotunda didn't charge us for, although technically they should have as this arose from private nuchal testing)

PenguinsAreThePoint Sun 09-Oct-11 15:22:52

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

PamBeesly Sun 09-Oct-11 18:36:12

Also OP I just remembered, a friend of mine had insurance for semi-private but chose to go public. She made the decision because she wouldn't have had the money to pay for extra nights (her insurance covered 2), if she had to have a c-section (she would have been looking at covering the cost of 3 additional nights)

Tell her to have a look at this site, its a brilliant resource, and she can look at what services the various maternites offer

birthoptions Mon 10-Oct-11 09:36:23

thanks so much for the comments, she has decided to go public

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