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Thread: Can u please help me out?

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Melbourne , Australia

    Default Can u please help me out?

    I'm moving to Melbourne, Australia in February(i will be 5 months) and i would like to know some details about the Medical system there....

    Is there a private health sysyem as well as a Gov one?

    Do u get a choice in a vaginal birth or C-section?

    How many U/S do u get?

    Any help would be very much appreciated.. Thanks..

  2. #2


    Yes there is a private and govenment health system. You need to purchase your own private health insurance policy and there are alot of different health funds to go through. Normally, you have to be covered by a health fund for over 12 months before they will cover obstetrics. You do have another option and that is to be a self funded patient in which you pay for everything yourself
    In regards to whether you get a choice in a vaginal birth or c/section and how many ultrasound you have is completely dependant on who you go through for your ante-natal care. I went private and my obstetric provider did an ultrasound ever visit and he always started off with the goal of vaginal birth but he was completley open to a c/section if there was a valid reason behind it. I think a 'normal' schedule for ultrasound of a normal pregnancy in the government system is one at around 12 weeks and one at around 20 weeks, I could be wrong through.
    Best of luck with your move.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    outer South East Melbourne


    Hi there.

    We have what's called Medicare which is the Govt health system. It pretty much covers everything associated with the birth but will find yourself paying for things like scans and OB or GP visits along the way. You can then claim a portion of the fee back (about half on average) from Medicare by visiting a branch. You get given cash in hand if you have paid the bill first.

    Going public means going to a public hospital for the birth and using whatever midwives and doctors are on hand at the time.

    We have some bulk billing clinics which basically have GPs in them and they cost you nothing unless you go after hours (say after 6pm or weekends and even then they will charge $10 or so for the visit). Most of them wont see you for pregnancy though and you will have to either see a GP or an OB. Not all areas have bulk billing clinics.

    I'm going public and am 10 weeks 3 days and have had one scan after I had a little spotting a few weeks ago. It was bulk billed even though I was told that I'd have to pay for it. It would have cost $80 had I paid for it. The costs of scans and GP & OB services varies greatly from place to place. My next scan is at 12 weeks for the NT one and I will have to pay for that then claim it back (not sure what it's costing).

    It's hard to say how many scans you get in Australia. Some ladies will get 2 throughout their entire pregnancy, others 3 or 4, some have heaps due to complications.

    If you go public you do not get a choice to have a C Section - unless you go in as a private patient and pay through the nose for it.... it would cost thousands I would imagine.

    You can also take out private health insurance. I think with most of them you have to have it for at least 12 months before any maternity benefits will be paid out so I think that will be an issue for you by the sound of things. Maybe if you have private insurance where you are you can transfer across without penality but I really don't kow.

    Public hospitals are perfectly good to give birth at, you just don't get your choice of doctor or fancy food, private rooms etc. Our hospitals offer varying levels of care based on your risk. If you are low risk you can go to any public hospital, if you are medium risk you will have less choice, high risk you will probably only have a choice of two hospitals in your city.

    You have to "book in" to hospital here, regardless of if it is a public or private hospital. You go to a booking in appointment at 12 weeks at the hospital and see the midwives. Private hospitals can fill up fast so you need to book early. I don't know if public hospitals have the same issue. What I do know is that you can wait months to see a OB who works from some public hospitals. The first one I went to who was at a small private hospital and a small public hospital I got to see within 2 weeks. The second one I'm still waiting to see and won't get in until I'm 14 weeks. I had to change OB's as the one I went to does not work out of the hospital I chose.... something else you have to watch out for..... I am older and need to make sure they offer a higher level of care the other two hospitals did not offer.

    We also have what's called a baby bonus here. It's currently around the $4000 mark. For each baby you have the government gives you $4000. This figure varies from year to year.... not sure what it will be next year. Basically we weren't having enough babies in Australia so they thought they'd chuck some money at us to get the birth rate up and it seems to have worked.

  4. #4
    Jodie259 Guest


    lots of great information from Satya!

    I would also check...

    If you are from UK (and maybe other commonwealth countries)... we have a "contra" arrangement with the public health system.
    But if you are from USA (for example) - and you are not an australian resident - you will not be able to use our "free" public health system.

    My DH immigrated here from Israel. He came over on a 'fiance' visa. So he had no health cover at all until we were actually married (7-9 months) - then he was a temporary resident for 2 years - and was given a temporary resident medicare card. Now he is a permanent resident, he has a regular medicare card.

    When I lived in the UK, I was fully covered by their medical system. I had a car accident - and I didn't pay for the ambulance, the hospital or they physio treatments. Unfortunately ambulance and physio do not come under Australian public health - so you have to get insurance for those services.

    So it will depend on what country you are coming from and what visa/residential status you will have as to whether you will be eligible for Australian public health services. And if you go private - you would have to wait 12 months to be covered for services like pregnancy.

    Here is the website for Medicare : Medicare Australia
    You could email them to ask if you will be covered by the public health services.

    A good site to check for private health cover is : Private Health Insurance Australia - iSelect
    they are brokers for a lot of private health companies, and calculate the best deals for the services you want.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Melbourne , Australia

    Default Thanks!!!!

    Thanks a lot for all the great info.... I have permanent Residencie in Australia.. which from what u say shouldnt be a problem for medicare.. but i guess i would have an issue with the insuarance since i will be 5 months pregnant in feb...
    anyway, thanks again for all the valuable info..
    Hope u guys r doing great....

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Brisbane, Australia


    Sasha you can still go private with out insurance but you just have to pay the full amount which is a little expensive. Two years ago it would of cost me over $5000 as I read on my bill from my hospital stay from my sons birth.

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