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Private v's Public Lock Rss

Hi all,
I'm a new mum with a 3mth old baby boy. I had callum at Royal Womens Hospital in Melbourne on Aug 10th. This is a public hospital.

As i had lost 2 babies prior to callum (he is my first), i went with this hospital as they already had all my medical history and had dealt with the miscarriages through them. I found them excellent and their after care was fantastic as i ended up having an emergency c/s.

I am wanting to have another baby next year and am wondering which other mums found better. Public or private? I have heard other new mums in my mothers group raving about the benefits of private with the main being you get your own ob who see's you throughout the whole pregnancy.

I am probaly going to elect to have another c/s so really don't know what to do. I would love to hear feedback on what other mums think as i'm really confused as to whether public or private is better.

Jodie, mum to callum-10.8.05 & matthew-1.03.07


In my experience, Private was absolutely the best. I didn't have a c/s but I had to have vacuum extraction and my labour was induced because he had kicked a hole in the sack and broke my waters three weeks early. I had a fantastic experience in private, own room with ensuite, own ob, the food was sensational! I can't crap on about it enough!

My sister in law had her daughter 6 months later in public and she was out of there as quickly as she could. She shared a room, she didn't know which dr she was getting at any given time and the food was pretty bad.

If you found Royal Womens Hospital excellent though, then why change? It is totally up to what you feel comfortable with, and what you can afford.

On the money side, my excess was $200. That's all I paid then I got the statement in the mail for how much it actually cost and it was about $4500. So I thought $200 was good for me!! I was told by a lot of people that if you go private you pay a lot and public is totally free but I didn't have much to pay after all.

Elle, DS: Kai 20/11/04 & DS: Jamie 13/02/07

Hi Jodie

I can't really comment on going private as I have been in a public hospital for both of my births.

I delivered both my babies at King Edward Memorial Hospital which is the main maternity hospital in WA. I had complications with my first delivery which ended in an emergency c section and was extremely pleased with the care I received.

With both deliveries I was given my own room with ensuite - it was like a motel room! The food was absolutely delicious and generous portions.

They were very encouraging for me to attempt a vaginal delivery the second time around. They made me feel terrible when I booked in for an elective caesar (which I didn't need in the end) and I was really disappointed about that. I was hoping to be supported which ever way I chose.

I will be going back there to deliver my third baby even though I live about 60km away now.


4 lovely munchkins DD 10/03, DD 03/05, DS 10/06 &

I had my first baby with private health insurance and was out of pocket almost $1800. For my second bub (due in 8 weeks), we have gone public and so far have been out of pocket about $100. For this pregnancy I had the initial consultation with my doctor ($30 above medicare rebate) and a scan at 8 weeks to check dates ($70 above medicare rebate). I then transferred to the midwife clinic at my local hospital and apart from one visit where my normal midwife was on holidays, have seen the same midwife, although she doesn't work in delivery, so I will be having someone else at the actual delivery. All the midwife visits, bloodtests, scans and everything else is done through the hospital and has not cost us a cent.
For first bub the private hospital does not do deliveries so I delivered at local hospital then transferred to private. Costs for him were: every visit (12 in all) to Obstetrician was $30 over medicare rebate apart from initial consultation which was $60 over rebate, we had to go to his preferred radiologist (2 scans @ $100 over medicare rebate each), $800 obstretrician's insurance fee (not refundable by medicare or health insurance), obstetrician billed health insurance directly for his actual delivery fee ($500 I believe), health insurance covered cost of anti-natal classes but would not cover cost of breast-feeding class (even though I strongly argued that it should have been classified as a healthy lifestyle class- what better start to a healthy life can you give your child?), hospital excess for me $200, hospital excess for bub $200, (he had to be admitted to SCN due to jaundice).
I also got the statements from the health insurance showing what they had paid each hospital. Even though there was only $20 difference per night between the hospitals, the difference was amazing. At public even though I had my own room with ensuite, the ensuite was actually shared between two rooms and was tiny, the room was a triangular shape which meant it was very awkward and not much room at all, the food was disgusting (who on earth would give a curry dish to pregnant or new mums recovering from giving birth and beginning breastfeeding?), I was lucky to see the nurse once a day and it took forever to have someone answer the buzzer and the had bought the cheapest toilet paper ever (even newspaper would have been softer) which is the last thing you want when that area has just been through all of its traumas and has been stitched.
So why am I going public this time? I'm hoping to get on the early discharge program which means that if I leave within 24hours of giving birth, I will get a midwife come to my house every second day or so for the first week to see me. I can be at home for my toddler, in my own environment, with foods I like and think are suitable for a new mum and the most expensive toilet paper I can find, a long with all the support from family and friends. My only hope now is that bub goes from transverse to normal position so I don't need a caesar! LOL
Can anyone give me any information on the Mater Mothers Public Hospital? I am booked in there to have my bubs and am wondering what the level of care ect is like? I have been having shared care with the hospital (I go to my normal Dr for all my antenatal visits and only go to the hospital for my Anti - D injections and 1 or 2 check ups ect) I haven't had to pay for anything apart from the ultra-sound back at 19-20 weeks.


I had my first baby in the Dandenong Hospital (public) here in Melbourne nearly 2 years ago. I was very happy with the hospital and the staff and am due to give birth to my second baby in January so I've booked in there again.

One of the Mum's in my Mum's Group went to a Private (sorry can't remember the name of it) but swears she will never go back there.

I guess it's all a matter of choice and what's available in your area, oh and $$$. Maybe do some tours of the hospitals near you to get an idea.

Good luck

Mum to (Olivia 3 Feb 2004) & (Emily 26 Jan 2006)

hi Jodie & Callum

i've been both public & private
with Harriett (2/1/03) i wasn't due with her until 14th which i would have been covered but she arrived early - the public system in her case was GREAT. Being a little country town & not a very busy hospital i got 100% attention, the midwifes would just come & sit & chat with you - i can't say how wonderful it was

With Thomas (6/10/04) i went private - my OB was fantastic but the private hospital wasn't the best. I was booked in for a c-secton due to breech when i arrived after the hour car trip, i wasn't even booked in to the hospital not a big deal they did it while we waited. When THOMAS was born on all his records he was Tom (don't like this name at all) that annoyed the heck out of me - then due to it being so busy in my 3 day stay i don't think i saw the same midwife twice, which was hard cause every m/w that came in told me to breastfeed differently - when we where allowed home, we ended up back in out public hospital me with cracked, sore & unable to feed nipple & Thomas with jaundice. I was soooo mad at the private hospital Thomas was check by a pead. before we left & said everything was fine - we had to travel in to town every day for 4 days to have jaundice tests done - we live 20 mins out & at that stage I had a 20 mth at home also. So to try & pack up 2 kids drive after having a c-sec everyday just drove me crazy....

Sorry about all the whinging, but next time around i would love to have my OB to come to my home town - don't think he'd go for that idea....hehehe
I went public. I don't know what private could have done for me as with public I had no problems whatsoever. I had my own room, the staff were fantastic. I didn't mind seeing their own midwifes etc.

Jo, SA, Dylan born Dec 05

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