We are going private at the Mater in Brisbane, as this is our first, I wanted the private room and the opportunity to stay at least 4 days with as much support in hospital before we are on our own!
Not entirely happy with my ob/gyn and by the time I decided this, we had already paid our 20 week management fee of $2600. Medicare rebated $500 of this. Prior to reaching the threshold, each appointment was $80 and $40 rebate from Medicare. The year for the threshold runs from Jan to Dec so any Drs apps from here to Dec for me, bub or hubby will have high rebates from Medicare (my appts now are only $7 out if pocket rather than $40).
We are covered privately but the hospital excess is $500. We will have to pay a paediatrician gap to check bub after the birth and possibly an anaesthetist if i have an epidural/emergency C. No idea of these gaps.
Even though I haven't had bub, next time around I think I will do shared care through my GP and go public (providing it's like this pregnancy with low risk).
My main reason for this is that you pay a premium price for private care here in Australia, yes the service should also be a premium but if it's a low risk all is going well pregnancy, you really are just another number. Blood pressure check, weight check, the odd ultrasound (my obs only did these when necessary even after I indicated I wanted to see bub more often at apps) and Doppler for heartbeat /tape measure for fundal height.
In labour, I expect it will be the midwives doing the hard yards and my ob/gyn will be there occasionally only.
If you do go private, shop around as I have now discovered there are the odd ob/gyn here in Brisbane that don't charge any management fee. Get in early though, and if you are not comfortable with your Ob/gyn, change before 20 weeks when the management fee is due.
All the best!