Monday, May 28, 2007

Okay I think my html problem is that I have too much information in my table. But I’m saying sod it, I can’t fix the formatting anymore, it’s good enough.

This is just a start – I think the story is going to continue. And so far I can’t really tell what system is ‘better’ – I think I’ll have to wait until the end.

My lovely prenatal care comparison table!

Prenatal Services in UK (London-Bucks.) Prenatal Services in Canada (Ontario-GTA)
Told GP I was pregnant. Smiled widely, patted me ‘congratulations’ and made immediate referral into prenatal and hospital care. Told family doctor I was pregnant. Would not speak of anything about it until pregnancy hormone levels were tested and pregnancy clinically confirmed.
Never really had any ‘touchy’ care (well, except at the very end, when you can’t avoid being assaulted during labour when they check dilation). First family doctor appointment involved a pap smear (WHAT?! I was so not expecting that!). Both family doctor and obstetrician have examined (e.g. felt) breasts. Not sure why.
Ultrasound appointments at hospital – scolded for vomiting up water that I was meant to have consumed to increase quality of the scan. Very clinical and serious appointments. Had to pay for any copies of scans. Could not tell if I was looking at a tumour or a fetus. Ultrasound (service located in my doctor’s building) lady very understanding that I didn’t necessarily drink all the water – in fact asked me to empty bladder as a way to get it moving into a different position. Printed up numerous scans she thought were ‘cute’, kept going ‘awww’ and gave us a bunch of copies for free. Picture is of very high quality.
Was immediately inundated with books, leaflets, loads of clear information about what would be happening to me, at what time, what was expected of me, and who would be involved in the care (I did shared care, GP and hospital). Have been highly in the dark until today (17 week Obs appointment) as to what was going to be happening, when I should be having appointments, etc. Am doing shared care again. And I could buy a book if I wanted (see below).
Fully funded public health care with no costs associated (except if I had stayed in a private/semi-private hospital room). And I thought Ontario had public health… Found out today that I have to pay my Obs $100 for admin costs associated with prenatal care not covered by Ontario’s public health plan, and if I wanted to attend any prenatal classes, there are big fees! I am sort of disgusted. This time, however, Mark’s insurance should cover a semi-private room (I need to look into it a bit more).
Care very much centered around midwives, health visitors, etc. Care centered around doctors. I did enquire about midwife care in our region, which I could have accessed – however, there is an article in the Toronto Star just today about the desperate shortage of midwives. Funnily enough, they didn’t get back to me, probably way too busy.
Any consent or decisions about delivery made during delivery. I have to sign consent for epidural use (including spinals) in advance, along with an anaesthesia questionnaire, and send it to the hospital around 30 weeks.
Midwife and/or health visitor come to see you at home post-delivery. And you can meet them in your pajamas. I am required to take the newborn to see my family doctor within 2-3 days of discharge from hospital.

4 Responses to “”

  1. Lisa Says:

    Thanks for posting this! I was curious about antenatal care in Canada (you’d think I’d know about it, but my friends very rudely decided not to have babies until I moved to the UK.)

    Semi private room! Lucky duck. 🙂

  2. Jen & Co. Says:

    This is interesting, thanks. We are hoping (fingers crossed) to be experiencing this ourselves soon.

  3. M Says:

    That’s really interesting – when we were thinking about moving back to Texas (which we’re not now, ever, probably) I was dreading the antenatal care, but looks pretty good for you – I’d miss the midwifes though.

  4. Vero Says:

    That’s a very interesting post. I’m 25 and not planning on having kids for quite a while (husband FAR too childish to take care of anything!), but as a Canadian in the UK, I’m frightened to death of the NHS and currently have a real love/hate relationship with them.

    Have you found Canadian hospitals generally cleaner, with doctors who listen to you better? Maybe I’ve just been unlucky, but the British doctors I’ve met so far don’t as much as look at you while you’re telling them what’s wrong. They just stick a prescription on paper and send you on your way. And the clinics I’ve gone to have all been manky old facilities where I’ve felt more ill than before I’d gone in.

    Tell me, ladies of great wisdom, am I completely wrong?

    (btw, can you ping me an email if you do reply? I might forget to come back and check this but am very interested! Email is blog@[myblogname]

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