Advice for delivery at public hospital



POSTED BY Rochie (10 yrs ago)
I visited my gyno today and he told me that I was taken off the waitlist at Adventist Hospital and I am due is 2/3 weeks time. He suggested that I go to Queen Mary Hospital for the delivery but I am located in Kowloon and would like to know of any good public hospitals and what I will need to do to register. I am also prepared to travel to QMH as I've heard some good experiences about their services. This whole thing about over booking in private hospitals has taken its toll especially as I notified my gyno back in March that I wanted to go private as I did with my first child. Now because of his inefficiency I don't know where I am going to deliver and with which doc.


cara (10 yrs ago)
if you go public, then you have no say over which dr you will get.

if you want to deliver at QMH, then i'd suggest that you contact Tsan Yuk Hospital ASAP> however, i'm pretty sure that they won't let you deliver there as you are not in their "area". you would have to find the closest public hospital to you that has a O&G ward. kowloon is pretty big, so not sure which one that would be.

if i were you, i'd be really angry at my dr.

you could also try phoning around to the other private drs to see if any of them can get you into your hospital of choice at this late notice

good luck!

bbvv (10 yrs ago)
I delivered at Queen Elizabeth in Jordan, Kowloon last year in July and I live all the way in Yuen Long, New Territories. I had good experience there especially from the nurses on breastfeeding. I had difficulties at first and ended up quite upset about it as I was worried that my baby did not get enough milk. The nurses there were patient and pro-breastfeeding.

I have already registered there to deliver my second one in March 2008.

Rochie (10 yrs ago)
Thank you for your replies. It is somewhat comforting to know that the public system is reliable and supportive. At this moment I feel frustrated and angry because now I have to run around and look for a new doc and hospital bed while I should be resting and looking forward to the birth. I located a doc who may be able to get me into Baptist Hospital in Kowloon but no guarentees. I've also been told that I can just turn up to the emergency ward at QMH if there is no place else to go.

It is so unfortunate that I ended up with such an unprofessional doctor but at least I know that I have the public system to rely on.

evildeeds (10 yrs ago)
The public system is good, so don't have any worries there. We've used the facilities at PWH and were extremely happy with their care and efficiency. Being in Kowloon you have a few hospitals you can get into within a short distance.

Rochie (10 yrs ago)
Hi evildeeds,

Was your husband allowed to be with you in the delivery suite at PWH?

evildeeds (10 yrs ago)
Actually I am the husband, and yes I was there the whole time - wouldn't have missed it for anything. The staff were supportive of me wanting to be there, my wife wanted me there also. Most of the other fathers to be were to be found outside however.....!

Rochie (10 yrs ago)
Woops...... its great to know that they allowed you in. I checked with Princess Magaret Hosp and they were not keen whatsoever. My husband insists that he be involved with the whole process. I'm really happy about that.

lmcf (10 yrs ago)
You can also check out Queen Elizabeth in Kowloon. They are fine with a father being present. Also no problem with Queen Mary and Pamela Youde on HK side. Perhaps Princess Margaret has a more "traditional" clientale and so they don't get many requests but at QM, PYD, QE, PW fathers are present on a daily basis. HOWEVER, if there is any Emergency C, none of the public hospitals will allow the presence of a father.

Babeez (10 yrs ago)
The 'top 3' public hospitals in HK are Pamela Youde, Prince of Wales and Queen Mary (no specific order). I was discharged from POW a couple of days ago and i must say, everyone was wonderful. I am 30 weeks along and suffered a back injury but as i was in the prenatal ward, i watched many women going through labour contractions and the nurses being very kind. It made me reconsider going public at POW for number 2 as i am due to give birth at the hospital you mentioned (Baptist) in January. The Baptist is very nice but i am having a C-section so i have to go private. If i was going natural, i would definitely go with Queen Mary/POW/Pamela Youde. I stayed in POW for 3 days and including all meds only paid $300 plus they gave me all the meds i needed up to birth. At the Baptist, in the most basic ward, my husband and i are looking at anything from 50-70K or more if there are (God forbid) any complications. I stayed at Princess Margaret before and it was an absolutely awful experience, nurses treated patients like crap. No way would i consider that hospital but hten when my mum stayed there, she thought it was fine. I guess it's all down to the individual.

cara (10 yrs ago)
why do you HAVE to go private for a c-section?

i had two of them in the public system, i came out ok and so did both of my beautiful children...

~Sugar~ (10 yrs ago)
Hello Cara,

Were you with the high risk team for both pregnancies? I guess the yellow team does have privileges compared to red and blue even though I feel QM treats all well. Thanks for speaking up for QM, I've had a nice experience there and I don't feel you have to go private for a C section too. Cheers!

Babeez (10 yrs ago)
I thought that you had to have natural delivery if you went through the public system unless you had complications or were in the high-risk category? I don't qualify so had to go private as i am having an elective C-section, if i could do this through the public system, that would definitely been my first option.

my doggie (10 yrs ago)
with my first, i was not classified high risk. i ended up with an emergency c-section.

with my second, i WAS classified high risk. i had an elective c-section.

i think that it all depends on your previous experiences, if you have had other children. i told my drs the second time, that i wanted another c-section. i also told them that my first at QMH was not exactly a pleasant experience (see previous posts). EVERY dr apologised profusely for my not great first experience. the drs agreed that a c-section second time round was probably a good idea. i was in so much pain, they even agreed to deliver the baby 4 weeks early. my second c-section with them was FANTASTIC! i was under general anas. which scared the heck outta me, but the anasthesiologist was AWESOME! and i healed about 10X faster the second time round.

~Sugar~ (10 yrs ago)
Hi Babeez,

Yes, that true. They would need to find a reason to do a C-section.

Though my overall experience at QM was good, I might not have chose to deliver there if I didn't have complications.

You'll have to consider this, if they were full, they would move some post natal patients to make shift beds since they can't turn away patients who turn up at the A&E. The ward manager then was constantly "asking" doctors to discharge patients when the beds were not enough and we were stressed too. That's probably not something you want to worry about.

TheCuteOne (10 yrs ago)
I have a question about public hospitals in Hong Kong.

How keen are the public hospitals here on total natural childbirth with the husband coaching?

Let me explain my story a bit:

My husband and I gave birth to our first son this past November. We gave birth in the States as that's where I'm from and he's from HK. Anyway, we read a really good, well-known book called, "Husband-Coached Childbirth" and went to three months worth of classes with friends of ours who gave birth to all three of their children without any drugs of any sort.

We prepared really well both physically and mentally for the labor as we saw it as sort of like an athletic event involving a lot of endurance.

I went into labor on my son's due-date which happened to be my husband's birthday but I was in labor for 44 hours. I just had a really slow "rev-up" time to the point of when I finally gave birth. No complications, really. For pain management I relied on walking around and took a few soaks in a hot tub at the hospital. By the time I gave birth I was absolutely and totally exhausted just from it being such a long haul and having not been able to eat much during the time.

We had chosen to go through a nurse midwife program that is in tandem with the hospital so a nurse midwife was present for the birth as well as other nurses and the on-call doctor was there (in the hospital but not present at the birth) in case of any major emergency. Pretty much my mother and my husband and I directed the show. They helped me relax and remember why I chose to give birth without drugs (I can now say that I think I can pretty much withstand any sort of pain thrown my way).

Actually the nurse midwife, although wonderful kind of was a hinderance to my labor progress and at one point she left the room and I was able to really gain ground with just my husband, mother and a few nurses around.

Anyway, so when my son was born my husband "caught" him and helped cut his umbilical cord as we had discussed with the nurse midwife and written in our birth plan. The only complication I had whatsoever was after the placenta was delivered I started to hemorrage a bit but the nurse midwife, knowing I was a redhead and also having seen in her experience that redheads tend to bleed a lot was prepared to give me a jab of pitocin in my leg and do the neccessary things to prevent a dangerous situation.

Throughout my labor I asked to be only occassionally put on the fetal heartrate monitor (the hospital's policy was 15 minutes for every hour) so that I would retain my mobility and not be strapped down to a bed during labor. I was provided with a "birthing ball" which is similar to a pilates ball and is used to stretch the perinium and also to speed up labor. I was allowed to experiment with different birthing positions. I was allowed to walk throughout the maternity wing to speed up labor.

I am just wondering if this type of scenario is at all possible in Hong Kong? In the public hospital system? As someone in this post mentioned, when one gives birth in the public hospital they have no control over the doctor they get--which makes me think they probably don't get to meet him or her beforehand either--so how does this line up with any sort of birth plan the mother might have? Are husbands allowed to take as much responsibility and charge as I mentioned above--or are they only allowed to be spectators at the birth?

I am really curious as I've heard many mixed things about the public hospital system and childbirth and for our second child I'm not sure where we'll choose to give birth.

Anyway, any thoughts would be great...

cara (10 yrs ago)
i would think that the amount of independence you experienced would NOT be the norm at a public hospital here, especially a place like queen mary (a teaching hospital). you might get some of what you want, but i have a feeling that you would have to fight for it tooth and nail. do you really want to be doing that when you should be concentrating on giving birth?

you would be far better off going to a private hospital, like Matilda, if you want so much independence.

good luck!

TheCuteOne (10 yrs ago)
Thanks Cara, I definitely had a feeling it would be this way in the Hong Kong public hospitals and I've also heard that even in the public hospitals they are also very wary of giving couples as much autonomy over their birth. I guess it may be possible for us just to return to the States for the next birth (whenever that happens) as I was more than satisfied with the treatment I received there as well as the charges levied for it. Thanks so much again.

TheCuteOne (10 yrs ago)
*I meant to type "even in the private hospitals" re above

RachRobin (10 yrs ago)
I agree with Cara and you should note;

In Public Hospitals the husband is only allowed in for the actual delivery. If you go to hospital and you are still in the earlier stages of labour, he has to wait outside the ward. There are also no baths etc. available during labour, not really anything you would term a 'birth centre' type of set up.

Although you would be definitley more likely to have the type of birth experience you are looking for in a private hospital, it would still largely depend on your ob/gyn. You may find you need to shop around a little to find the right doctor.

Congrats and good luck!

TheCuteOne (10 yrs ago)
Thanks RachRobin,

I had heard some mixed things, as I said before, so I became a little bit hopeful that the type of birth I enjoyed in the States might be possible here in Hong Kong. After reading the above responses, however, I'm quite convinced that it may be many years (if ever) before Hong Kong makes a shift to allowing women more control over their birth experience. It looks like we will need to return to the United States for our second child's birth afterall. This can be a logistical hassle but to me it's more important to have a positive birth experience that I desire than to settle for what is on offer in this city.

Thanks so much for your input.

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