My dear friend Mitra just had a little baby boy so I got to visit their new family at Matilda International Hospital on the Peak.
The hospital is so fancy–I’d never seen anything like it! I mean there was crown molding and real artwork on the walls.
And then there was little Asher! Isn’t he so sweet? Mitra was such a calm and happy new mom! She really appreciated being so well taken care of by the hospital staff, even while delivering during a typhoon 8!
Dad was doing okay, too… out on the private terrace with free wi-fi!
Or the slippers! They actually offered to bring me, the guest, fresh tea. Can you believe it?
Quite frankly the place looks and feels much more like a hotel than a hospital… in a good way. And the catering is in fact done by the Shangri-La hotel chain.
Even the doors and floors were pretty. I’m so thankful for such a great visit. I set a timer on my phone and stayed for just 20 minutes so as to give the new family some time to themselves. I’m glad I did set a timer (see this post) or I would have stayed and coohed over little Asher all day!
I’m sure you’re wondering what it costs to have a baby in a private hospital with a lobby, complete with a giant fish tank, like this! It’s somewhere between $100k – $150k Honkie, which is about $12,000 to $17,000US–and your insurance may or may not cover it.
If you can’t swing private health care, you’re in luck as the public health care is ridiculously affordable and very, very good. In fact, if your baby has issues while delivering at Matilda, you will be sent down to Queen Mary public hospital where they have a NICU and state of the art equipment, but alas no view.
Hong Kong’s public healthcare doesn’t even charge for delivering a baby: simply for staying overnight in the hospital which runs $100HK for the mother and $60 HK for the baby or about $20US per night for both. People often joke (but they’re also serious!) that the cost of parking is more than the cost of delivering!
Rooms at Matilda book very quickly… especially on certain dates… because doctors here are mostly against doing it naturally.
My friend Mitra is a champ for doing it all, drug free, but she is not the norm here where C-sections are more than routine… From the SCMP:
Four out of 10 women who give birth in Hong Kong now have Caesarean sections – a rate that is double the average for the developed world. In private hospitals, six out of 10 babies are born under the knife.
Hong Kong’s Caesarean rate has been on the rise in recent years, creeping up from 36 per cent in 2006 to 41.6 per cent in 2008. A WHO study in 2007 showed that the rate in developed countries was only 21.1 per cent.
The trend is causing particular alarm in private hospitals, where mothers can freely choose the way they give birth. In 2006, 59 per cent of 25,141 women in private care had Caesareans. This had jumped to 62 per cent in the first half of last year.
The main reason: wanting to be able to choose a lucky, feng-shui date for the birth of the child. Isn’t that just shocking? Especially considering all the other risks and the longer recovery time associated with a C-section.