How much will it cost if I am not in a health fund?

From time to time we have patients and enquiries from prospective patients who for one reason or another are not covered by a health fund.

Below is a guide as to what you can expect and where possible bills will come from. It is impossible to do an exact calculation of the cost you will be in for as it will vary because of unpredictable developments in pregnancy and childbirth and because fees for the same service will vary from one doctor to another.

Dr Sykes's fee

Cost If Not In Health FundWhether or not you are in a health fund is irrelevant for your 'out-of-hospital' pregnancy care, as long as you have Medicare cover. That is because health funds only contribute to 'in-hospital' care costs.

We are a 'no gap' practice for health funds which means we send our invoices for delivery and inpatient care directly to the relevant health fund for remuneration without there being any gap for the patient to pay. But as you are not in a health fund you will need to pay in full the delivery fee by 35 weeks pregnancy. You can claim a portion of the payment from Medicare. Please ask my secretary for more information.


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Travel in Pregnancy

When is it good to travel?

The best time to travel is when you are between 20th to 32nd weeks of your pregnancy.

travel in pregnancyAt this time of your pregnancy, you should out the other end of all the initial pregnancy concerns with miscarriage, nausea, etc and have completed all the early pregnancy testing. Between these weeks you are far enough away from term gestation that labour is unlikely and you are not so big that you will be too uncomfortable, have lots of swelling, excessive tiredness and possible pregnancy complications that are more common in advanced pregnancy.

Unexpected and unpredictable developments (including the onset of labour) can occur at any stage of your pregnancy. Because of the increased risk of labour happening, it is generally considered that you should not be embarking on travelling any significant distance from home beyond 36 completed weeks gestation for a singleton pregnancy and beyond 32 completed weeks for a twin pregnancy. Consider what considerable adverse implications there will be if you go into labour while aboard a plane in the air or you if are driving on some

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Sex Determination

How can I determine the sex of my baby?sex determination

With conception

While there are many ideas and anecdotal stories in actuality there is no reliable way of making sure your baby is going to be of a particular sex when planning your pregnancy. No approach such as what you eat or timing of sexual intercourse in the menstrual cycle, etc has been proven to be reliable. It is the male sperm that determine sex rather than the female egg. In some male families there is a predisposition to one sex or other. But even then there are exceptions.

Sex determination after conception

Chorionic villus sampling (CVS),  amniocentesis and the new non-invasive prenatal test (NIPT) are reliable ways of determining your baby's sex.

The next most reliable is  ultrasound scan. I have been able to determine the baby's sex as early as 14 weeks pregnancy. Boys are easier to confirm than girls. Also whether the baby is positioned

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Seat Belt when in the Car

Do I need to wear a seat belt when in the car in pregnancy?

It is safer for you and your baby and it is the law when travelling in a car. seatbelt in pregnancyThis applies to both front and back seats.

You can only travel without wearing a seat belt if you have a legitimate medical reason for not doing so, and a certificate to prove it.

It is always safer to use a three-point seat belt with a lap belt and diagonal strap. Wear the lap portion it so that it fits across your thighs and hips, and under your bump – not across the middle of it. If the lap portion is positioned across your belly, it is more uncomfortable and more dangerous for your baby if you are in an accident The diagonal shoulder portion of the belt should sit over your collar bone and between your breasts. Make sure you wear your seat belt as tight as

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Private vs Public Care for my Pregnancy

Why should I go private rather than public to have my baby?

Some of my friends are going public, usually for financial reasons. They are encouraging me to do the same. What are the main differences between private and public pregnancy care?


public vs private

Private health care offers obvious benefits that are not available through the public system. While it is more expensive the features and benefits mean that being a private patient with me at the San or Norwest Hospital is very worthwhile.

A number of years ago I resigned from working as a specialist obstetrician and gynaecologist in the public system. I always endeavour to provide the best quality of care possible. I could see that there was not the same agenda in the public hospital. I could see a gradual deterioration in the quality of patient care provided in the public sector, and from what I have been told this has not improved. I saw nursing and resident doctor public patient management errors which in some cases resulted in profound adverse outcomes, even in avoidable cerebral palsy. Even though I was not

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Planning your Pregnancy

I am planning to have a baby soon. What should I know that will help me have a good pregnancy and a successful outcome?

Have a good dietPlanning your Pregnancy

Endeavour to be in optimal nutritional health before you conceive. It is common for pregnant women to become depleted of nutrients as their pregnancy advances. Remember, when you are pregnant you are feeding two not one!

Read up on what is a 'good diet'. Have a healthy balanced diet with reasonable amounts of carbohydrates, protein, fat, minerals and vitamins. It is a good idea to commence a good quality pregnancy supplement about three months before you conceive to help you optimise your nutritional state.

If you have a history of iron deficiency anaemia or have heavy periods it is a good idea to have a full blood count and iron studies before pregnancy. Try to correct any iron deficiency before you are pregnant, as there are increased demands on iron stores in pregnancy. See in Staying Healthy section of this website Read More...

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How we are different

Our wish is for your pregnancy and childbirth experience not only to have successful outcome of a beautiful baby but also be a wonderful experience. After all this is one of the most important times in your life!

While we have in common with other Sydney obstetric practices “pregnancy care”, we are repeatedly told by our patients of services and aspects of care which exceed what other obstetric practices provide. Indeed, we have never heard of another practice that has the full range of services we provide.

Highlights of your pregnancy management with us include:

  • Professional, personalised and friendly pregnancy care. Our goal is not only for your pregnancy and childbirth to have a successful outcome, but also to provide an enjoyable and rewarding experience. Having a baby is one of the most important times of your life. Being very conscious of this, we want to support you at this special time in such a way not only do we celebrate with you the birth of your new baby but also you tell us how pleased you have been with our care.
  • 4D Ultrasound ScanFREE 4D ultrasound scans at each antenatal visit. Images are also projected onto a large flat screen TV monitor in the examination room at the end of the
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How much will it cost to have my baby as a private patient?

Congratulations on your pregnancy! Having a baby is a very special time for you. It is one how much does an obstetrician costof the most important occasions in your life.

One of the first questions a couple ask is how much will it cost to have their baby?

When you choose to go private for your care there will be ‘out of pocket’ expenses which will vary and which can be confusing to understand. This article is to give you more insight into possible expenses you may incur in having your baby.

Obstetrician costs

These will vary from one obstetrician to another. As well, the billing methods will also vary between obstetricians. That is because private obstetricians are self-employed. I will confine my comments to what we do. Please do not assume our fees and what we do with billing is the same as other obstetricians’ fees and what other obstetricians do with billing. If you are ‘shopping around’ you will have to contact the secretaries of other obstetricians to find out their fees are and how they bill their patients.

I have

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Delivery Fee And The No Gap Program

Dr Sykes is a ‘no gap’ doctor for your delivery. That means you will not have to make anyno gap program gap payment to Dr Sykes for your delivery charge. Dr Sykes will invoice your health fund directly and accept their payment as total payment for delivery and inpatient postnatal care. Sometimes there are extra Medicare item numbers used in association with your in-hospital care. Dr Sykes will invoice your fund directly on these occasions as relevant and not bill you personally

While all health funds now offer gap cover the Government or health fund does not set doctors’ fees. Doctors are free to charge whatever they feel is appropriate. It is an obstetrician’s prerogative whether or not you will be charged a gap for your delivery. Dr Sykes has chosen not to charge you a gap.

Advantages of the no-gap program

  • The patient pays nothing out to pocket to us for delivery
  • The patient doesn’t have to go to Medicare or the health fund to be reimbursed
  • It is easy and prompt for the obstetrician to get payment.
  • There are no bad debts.

Disadvantages of the no-gap program

  • The obstetrician has no say in what the delivery payment is. Your Medicare delivery
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Public or private – What is the difference?

It is not uncommon for my secretary to be asked on the phone by a pregnant womanPublic or Private Care who is shopping around trying to decide about pregnancy care: “What is the difference between private and public pregnancy care?”

This is a very understandable question. A newly pregnant woman is exploring options for her pregnancy care often with consideration of limited finances. For most pregnant women the only information sources that she can access about this topic are the views of people who she knows (including family), what she reads online and if she went public last time her personal experiences.

The views of others and the opinions read on-line reflect personal experiences and personal bias of that person or what they have been told by others. As well their opinions may reflect a personal ‘political’ bias about health care (public vs. private). They may not be objective. I would be surprised if the person giving the opinion would have a full and comprehensive understanding of the differences between being a public or private patient for pregnancy care. Being a very busy obstetrician who has worked in both the public and private sectors

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