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Going private in a public hospital

Where will I have the baby?

If you ‘go private’ within the public system you will have the birth in a public hospital as a private patient.

How long will I stay in the hospital?

If you are a ‘private’ patient within a public hospital, most stays are 1 to 2 nights for an uncomplicated birth, and generally 4 nights for a caesarean.

Who’ll look after me throughout the pregnancy and birth?

When you ‘go private’ within the public system you can choose your own obstetrician, to consult with in a private clinic, throughout the pregnancy and to attend the birth. The public hospital’s midwives will also attend. If your obstetrician can’t come on the big day (or night), they’ll arrange for another one to be there.

Will I get my own room after the birth?

Although some public hospitals have single rooms, these are generally given to patients in the most medical need. It’s fairly unlikely to get your own room in the public system.

How much can I expect to pay?

The costs of going private in a public hospital depends on your level of private health cover and the types of services you receive throughout the pregnancy. To get an estimate, it’s best to check with your doctor, hospital and health insurer. It’s also a good idea to look around and see what’s going to suit you, your budget and your expectations.

What other benefits can I get?

There are plenty of benefits you can claim if you take out private health insurance with extras. Depending on the level of cover you choose, you’ll be able to claim the standard extras like dental, physio and chiro – as well as a bundle of extra extras. Things like diet and nutrition to help you prepare, massage and acupuncture to alleviate those inevitable aches and pains, and lactation consultations to help you and bubs get off to a good start.