I'm new over this side, just got BFP yesterday. I haven't made a doctors appointment yet as i'm unsure of a few things. Maybe you can help me...
Do i need to know if i'm going public/private/S.P on my first appointment? We haven't decided yet and i read somewhere that you have to tell your doc on your first visit. Can you change halfway through?
I also assume I have to have decided for definite on my hospital of choice? I have two options and don't know which to go for and at this early stage i can't really ask people i know for opinions. I'm guessing i've to suck this one up and just choose.
If you go public when do you get scanned and is it free? Or are scans always charged?
Hi welcome and of course CONGRATULATIONS!!
ive shamelessly copied and pasted this info from Woodstocks sticky at the top of the page as she explains it all really well- Hope it helps !!
Every GP is different but usually the GP will:
- Do a pregnancy test to confirm the BFP (don't worry if the GP gets a BFN, their tests are usually not as sensitive as the ones we buy over the counter like First Response etc)
- Take a sample of your urine and test for infections
- Check your weight and blood pressure
- Give you a form to fill in for the Combined Care Scheme
- You'll have to pick which hospital you want to go to i.e. Holles Street, Rotunda, Coombe, etc and the GP will give you reference letter for them for you to bring with you to your first hospital appointment. (This will take place when you'll be 15-16 weeks pregnant. Hospital don't tend to see you before unless there are problems). Once you decide whether you want to go public, semi-private or private, you need to call the hospital and book your first appointment.
What is Combined Care
The Combined Care Scheme is a type of care that allows you to alternate your visits between your general practitioner and a maternity unit / hospital obstetrician. Generally the visits become more and more frequent as your pregnancy progresses.
The Combined Care Scheme form that you will fill in at your GP is so that you can qualify for Combined Care depending on how much PRSI contributes you have paid (I think the minimum is 1 year of contributes paid). If you qualify you won't pay your visits to your GP (well.. you'll pay this first visit only!). The GP will then post that form for you.
All expectant mothers who are ordinarily resident in the State are entitled to free maternity care, covering her antenatal visits, labour and delivery and postnatal care.
When you ring the hospital to make your first appointment, you will be asked if you intend to visit as a public, semi-private or private patient.
If you are a public patient, you will attend the hospital's antenatal clinic (or hospital clinics based in the community). You may see the same doctor on each visit, or you may not. Alternatively, if your pregnancy is uncomplicated, you may elect to visit the midwives' clinic if the hospital has one. This is staffed by experienced midwives and again, can ensure you continuity of care.
When you come into the hospital for labour and delivery, you will be delivered by staff midwives and may not see a doctor unless you experience complications. You may not have met the midwives or doctors who attend your labour and delivery. After the birth of your baby, you will be moved to the public ward for your stay, generally of about three days. A small number of hospitals now offer early discharge schemes, allowing you to go home early from hospital with follow-up care.
If you are attending as a semi-private patient, you may see a consultant privately, or attend the semi-private clinic. This clinic is run by the consultant and his/her team. In some hospitals a team member may deliver your baby, or the doctor on duty at the time. After delivery, you will stay on a semi-private ward, with approximately 3-5 other mothers.
If you are attending privately, you will be appointed your own consultant whom you will see at each visit. Your consultant may not necessarily be available to deliver your baby. Private care also entitles you to a private room, although, again, this is dependent on availability.
The truth behind Public/SP/Private Care
This is some advice I gathered from reading other posts here in WOL from first hand experiences.
- When you go public you're seen by the same consultants, equipe, midwives as if you were private or semi-private. The only difference is that whey you're public your first visit is with a consultant and the rest of the visits are with his/her equipe of doctors. However the midwives are always the ones that do all the work and if there are complications the consultant will see you regardless of you being public, sp or private. Also, the other main difference is the room: you will be in a public ward where there can be 6 beds.
- Neither private or semi-p guarantee you a room. Have read of people who were private and ended up in a public ward as there were no private rooms free. They still had to pay their full fees.
- Waiting times can be the same in private/semi-p as they are in public.
- If you want 'extra' care you can still go to a private clinic and pay for extra scans etc (i.e. early scans). You'll still be doing this even if you were private, hospital don't see you before 16 weeks. Early scan clinic will see you from 8 to 14 weeks (that's because after that it's the hospital's job).
If there is an emergency and you need to be seen before the 16 weeks, they will see you, regardless of what scheme you're in.
Finally, public care isn't 'free' as such - you already paid for the care you're going to receive in your prsi deductions in your salary.
PRIVATE HEALTH INSURANCE (VHI, BUPA, etc)
Generally they will cover you up to 3 days stay in hospital (sp and private) for natural birth and up to 5 days stay (also sp and private) for a cesarian. If there are complication and you will need to stay longer they will cover for your extended stay as long as the hospital will deem necessary.
They will cover the fee for the epidural and c-section.
However all consultant fees and scans are on you (but you can claim back a total of €400 on them).
Consultant fees can amount to up to €5k privately.
Generally, if you go Semi-Private, you'll end up paying €600/700 yourself that isn't covered by the private health insurance.
if u go to the Coombe u get your bookin on app for 10-12 weeks where u get a scan n bloods done. I had mine last week
we decided on public after much debatin my GP say go public or private. semi the rooms have 5 patients public it's 6 in a room
we have the 4k to go private but decided we'll use it for doin up the house for baby's arrival.
u go to a midwife lead clinic too. I wanted to do this but cos of my medical history I have to see the consultant.
wen pickin think bout the Parkin options too
also I rang the 3 Dublin ones to ask wen first app n scan wud b and choose after that
Thanks for the replies girls.
I'd actually read Woodstocks post but still wasn't sure about the few things i asked about.
I've decided on my hospital so that one is sorted.
But if i decide to go public can i opt in to private care further down the line?
And are public scans free?
public scans are free
afaik u aren't allowed change. but if u were I'd still have to pay the consultant the full fees
You don't have to have all that decided by first GP visit - just tell them you haven't decided yet. Then either you or them can contact the appropriate hosp once you have decided - you actually don't need a GP to get on to hosp for you - anyone can ring and book themselves in somewhere - I was on the Coombe's system before I went to GP. The reason it is good to know early, is that the hosps and domino's scheme can book up early - but sure lots of people don't find out they are pregnant really early and they still get a place somewhere, so I wouldn't stress too much! Places like Holles st do book up really quickly for Domino's scheme just to warn you though. Also you can book into one hosp and then change your mind and go to another. Bit of paper work involved but it is totally possible.
Re public / private, again as far as I know, you can decide to go public and then change to private, but you cannot do it the other way around. When in doubt, ring the hospitals you are thinking of and ask them, but I am fairly sure this is the case. In fact I would recommend ringing the hosps either way and ask any questions you have - that's what I did before deciding on the Coombe
I am going public and it is all entirely free. I am nearly 20 weeks, have had 1 normal scan, 3 mini ones (due to bleeding, but all is good now) and have my 'big' scan next week. I have been to the emergency room twice, consultant once and two midwives apps. I haven't and won't be parting with a penny for any of this - apart from my initial GP visit. From now on all my antenatal visits with GP are covered under combined care. I have 3 physio antenatal classes and two general antenatal classes that I am booked in for - again all covered under public care. So far I coudn't be happier!
Hope this info is helpful for you
Kinda feels like it'll all official then
Thanks again girls.
I've an appointment booked for the morning with my doc