Maybe it was a one-hit-wonder, maybe it took many months or even years of trying, but it finally happened. You’re pregnant! Now what?
When it comes to prenatal care (also known as antenatal care) in Singapore, there are two main pathways, the private route or the subsidised route. For this article, we will be focusing on antenatal care (both private and subsidised care) in KKH.
Fun Fact: KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital (or KKH for short) is the largest maternity hospital in Singapore, and also handles the majority of deliveries on our island.
Before you make your decision on whether to take the subsidised or private route, you should be aware of the main differences.
Here are 3 things to note:
How to proceed
Subsidised: Go to a polyclinic for a general consultation, ask the doctor for a referral to KKH. KKH will follow up with you on your first appointment date.
Private: Call KKH at 6294 4050 to make an appointment, and you will be informed of which clinic you will be seen at.
Subsidised: You will not be able to choose a specific obstetrician of your choice. However, you will be cared by a team of doctors led by a consultant obstetrician.
Private: You get to choose your obstetrician who will follow you till you deliver your baby
Subsidised: Singaporeans and PRs only
Private: All are eligible
Subsidised care is the more budget-friendly option, although you are likely to see a different doctor each time you go for your antenatal care and you may not get your obstetrician of choice for the delivery of your baby. However, there is always a consultant in charge of your care at all times. With private care, you can choose your own obstetrician in KKH, who will follow you throughout and also deliver your baby.
Are you eligible for subsidies?
Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents are eligible for subsidised rates if they are:
Referred from a polyclinic
Referred from a public hospital or A&E of a public hospital where they are receiving treatment at subsidised rates.
Referred by a General Practitioner under the Community Health Assist Scheme (CHAS).
Discharged as an inpatient from a Ward Type B2+ and below, and were receiving treatment at subsidised rates.
There are no packages for subsidised care as there are already government subsidies applied, but there are packages for KKH antenatal care. In fact, KKH launched two new antenatal packages for private patients on 31 August 2020 which are suitable for the first two trimesters of pregnancy.
KKH’s Antenatal Package*
*Information is accurate as of August 2020. Consult your obstetrician for more details on eligibility.
How much does it cost?
To get a better idea of what KKH consultation charges are like for both subsided and private patients, check out the table below:
With the MediSave Maternity Package, parents can make Medisave claims of up to $900 for pre-delivery expenses such as prenatal consultations, ultrasound scans, tests, and medications, as well as $750 to $2,150 for delivery expenses (depending on the delivery procedure). That’s not all, new parents can make MediSave claims of $450 for each day’s hospital stay for the delivery.
The good news is, KKH can submit the claim on your behalf. All you need to do is to sign the authorisation form for them to proceed. Talk about hassle-free!
What happens during your Antenatal Appointments
On your first visit, to determine the Estimated Date of Delivery (EDD) of your baby, you will be asked when your last menstrual period was. If you can’t remember, don’t worry, an ultrasound scan will be done to check on the size of your baby to determine your Estimated Date of Delivery (EDD).
While ultrasound scans are not necessarily done at each visit, you will have to do the routine test at each appointment, this test checks for markers of common pregnancy complications like gestational diabetes mellitus and preeclampsia.
Over the course of your antenatal appointments, you will be offered optional one-time tests/scans such as Harmony, first-trimester screening, these will help check for fetal anomalies (FA) such as Down syndrome.
KKH Antenatal Care Clinics are operational from Monday to Friday from 8.30 am to 5.30 pm. Closed on Sundays and Public Holidays.
Surcharges will apply for private patients if they opt for an appointment on weekdays from 5.30 pm to 8.30 pm and Saturdays from 8.30 am to 12.00 noon.
Nervous? Don’t be
Pregnancy can be an exciting time. It can feel daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. There are many support groups available, Facebook has plenty of support groups for parents and mummies, they can help align parents with similar EDD months or even for parents with children of the same age group.
Patients share their experiences
Jeremine who delivered in March 2019, recounts being well taken care of by the team-based care she received through subsidised route.
This mum paid $0 for delivery expenses!
Rose didn’t have to pay anything out of pocket for her delivery expenses as everything was paid through MediSave. For both her deliveries, one in 2014 and another in 2019, her babies were delivered naturally by a midwife on duty. She didn’t opt for an epidural and chose to be warded in a Class C ward.
Both Vera and Jasmine, on the other hand, prefer private care as they liked the consistency of seeing the same doctor at every visit.
Tanisha, pointed out that the KKH private care is not as expensive as those from private hospitals.
In the end, what is important is to choose what is within your means, and rest assured that you are getting excellent care either way.
Click here to check out gynaecologists and fertility specialists in Singapore.