For women fortunate enough to be in a position to choose between giving birth in a public hospital or private hospital, the decision can be a difficult one. For some, it may come down to their location, or complex care needs. For others, though, it’s increasingly becoming a matter of finances.
Despite paying hefty premiums, many Australian mothers who chose to lean on their private health insurance for perinatal care still end up facing substantial bills. Often totalling thousands of dollars.
Brisbane teacher, Amy Pavez, was among them. The birth of her first child 18 months ago saw her face out-of-pocket costs of roughly $4,500.
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Speaking to Mamamia, Amy said her decision to go with the private system wasn’t one taken lightly.
“Due to our financial situation at the time — me as a stay-at-home mum, and my husband as a part-time worker and student — we were considering going public,” she said.
“[But we] chose private for a few reasons. One, I didn’t want to feel forced out of hospital [after birth] if I went public, which is something I had heard from doctors… Also, my G.P. suggested that, based on how I’d spoken with her over the year, she thought I’d prefer more specific care where I could get to know one doctor.