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senseless

Some things you may find useful if you're having a baby in cebu.

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senseless

Bureaucracy here is so bad it almost is enough to make any sleep deprived already stressed individual turn psychotic.

 

..

 

Our experience was pretty amazing. Our OB was the one recommended by the embassy website, was a great doctor (her sister is our pediatrician). Wife was in labor 14 hours and there was no way she was going to be able to push the baby out so they did a c-section. She was in and out in 30 minutes (already had an epidural in from trying the labor, so it cut the c-section time in half). Baby came out, she was healthy (7lbs 13oz). Mother doing well. All in all, not as miserable of an experience as I was expecting. She gave birth in cebu doc in lahug area.

 

Some things:

 

I knew going into it that the hospital had a really shitty way of dealing with patients. That there is a ton of bureaucracy and I would have to run from Point A to B to C to D to A to C to B to D to A to D like 40 times. I had this crazy notion that pre-paying my deposit 2 weeks early would save us from having to deal with some of this bullshit. Don't know what I was thinking, been here long enough to know better. The only thing that saved me was having to sign the deposit slip and process my credit card when it was time to have the baby.

 

Cebu doc has 24/7 credit card processing (as long as the system isnt down). There is also a BPI (IIRC) ATM near the ER area.

 

When you go in, you'll need to go to admitting, then to billing, then to whatever area you're supposed to go to (delivery/labor/nursery area in this case). They're often out of the cheap private rooms, so don't be surprised if you'll end up needing to pay 4-5k/day for a luxury room in order to have a private room (the luxury rooms are pretty damn nice, and cheaper than most of the hotels here!).

 

You will need to go to the billing area anytime there is something to add to your bill, regardless how large of a deposit you made. Apparently the nurses are incapable of typing it into your account details, and instead, need to type it into a form, print it, sign it in triplicate, then send it down stairs to billing to be signed and processed. If you already made your deposit and it is sufficient to cover everything (in my case, 25K was enough to cover the room, the labour/delivery, and the C-Section). But, billing will still need to enter it into their system and sign off on it.

 

Just to give you an idea of how extreme the bureaucracy was; I was speaking to a foreigner while he was getting some formula from the nursing station. His wife was in labor for 30 hours, and then the babies heart stopped beating. (She should have been C-Sectioned well before 30Hours IMO.) But, in order for them to perform the c-section, he needed to first go down to the billing area, pay the bill (or increase his deposit if it wasnt large enough), or at least get them to sign off on it if it was large enough. Whether or not they would have let the mother/baby die if he didn't pay, or couldn't pay. I don't know. But he made it seem like there would be no way they would do the procedure without getting the green light from billing. Instead, he told me he went to the administrators office and got him to sign off on it right away.

 

When I was there, I only saw 2 incubators. If they're already in use, you might be in trouble. I believe norseman had this problem, needed an incubator and there were none free in the entirety of cebu.

 

You will not be allowed in the labor room, at least in cebu doc. I was told by our OB that the other hospitals have similar practices. I was able to receive a special dispensation from the head administrator to allow me in the delivery room. She tried to get me into the labor room, but the administrator would not allow it.

 

The labor room (in cebu doc at least) was shared. There will be many women in there at any given time, and your wife will be able to see everything that is going on with the other women. This will definitely freak her out. When entering my wife was told not to scream. The screams upset the other patients. Which, i find the whole idea of telling someone who's squeezing a watermelon out of a water hose not to scream, absurd, laughable, etc. I had a kidney stone which isn't as bad, but if they had told me not to yell I'd have completely ignored them.

 

Cebu doc is pretty dirty imo. I didn't see the railings of the steps get cleaned once while I was there and commonly held/grasped things IMO should be cleaned nearly every hour. Who knows what kind of TB infected patient coughed up flem. Or some weird virus, or something like DPD or HEP B which you might be able to pass on to your baby. There is this soap you can get in a blue bottle that contains a high concentration of iodine. Get it, use it often. But it's highly concentrated a single spec of soap will cover you from fingers to elbow. Just ask for "iodine soap in the blue bottle" the pharmacy should know what it is.

 

Your baby will be a different billing than your wife. You will need to pay for everything relating to the baby, or at minimum, make another deposit. Once the baby is born, you will be again required to go pay money (I was charged 5K for the stuff after the delivery, seemed to be the standard fee for that).

 

I was told by our OB that the new cebu doc in front of SM once completed in 1.5-2 years will contain private labor/delivery rooms. You would not be required to use a shared labor room. I'm assuming that they would grant family access because of this. IMO, cebu doc up until now didnt put much thought in how the hospital should be arranged. The whole place is like a maze of cluster feck.

 

After like 10-11PM all the stores around the hospital close except for the one pharmacy in front. If you need load, toiletries, drinks, whatever, get it before that time or you will be SOL.

 

Phone lines from the hospital can't dial international numbers. There is pharmacy near the ER admitting area in the back of the hospital that sells PLDT international load/calling cards if you need to call home for any reason.

 

If you want to lose 30lbs, do the A B C D A C D B A C D A B running around, but use the stairs. Its faster than the elevators anyway.

 

I think that's it for now. I'll add to the list if anything else comes to mind.

Edited by senseless
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It is amazing how two people can do exactly the same thing here and have such different experiences. Our baby was born at CDUH too. We had no trouble at all on money. I paid the deposit downstairs with my VISA card, and they didn't ask me again for money until my wife was released three days later. I was also surprised that there was another woman in the delivery room giving birth at the same time as my wife. I would say that is a very poor arrangement by the hospital. However, the delivery room we were in (and I was allowed in for the whole thing because I had arranged for it two weeks ahead of time) had a capacity of two. If your wife's delivery room had more space than that, the there is more than one delivery room. It makes me wonder if there is a private delivery room as well. The baby was just about fully presented when we got to the hospital (8 cm), so as soon as I got the money taken care of downstairs, they gave me the surgical garb and took me into the room with my wife. They had already given my wife an epidural at that point.

 

About 30 minutes in, our baby went into "distress" (I now think because the monitors on my wife weren't properly held in place on my wife's abdomen and weren't doing a good job of picking up the baby's heart rate), and we were asked if we wanted a c-section. The doctor said that although the ultrasound showed enough room in my wife's pelvis for the baby's head, that the baby couldn't make it through the birth canal. To make sure the baby was OK, we agreed. At that point, they wheeled my wife into the operating room and they took the baby by c-section (lateral bikini cut). A substantially larger percentage of women married to foreigners (as opposed to married to Filipinos) are delivered by c-section, regardless of birth weight.

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senseless

A substantially larger percentage of women married to foreigners (as opposed to married to Filipinos) are delivered by c-section, regardless of birth weight.

 

I was talking to the doc about that; she was saying anything about an average of 5% is too much. Did you use the embassy recommended doc?

 

In my case, after seeing how gargantuan our baby was compared to the others in the nursery. I had no doubt she would not have been able to push it out. I told her not to eat all those cinnamon rolls!!

 

I'm starting to think that the money thing is more based on who your doctor is, rather than the hospital itself.

 

..

 

Something else I should add.... The embassy doc with 30 years of experience in the US; was cheaper, than a filipino doc with no experience abroad. (By like 20% for both c-section and normal delivery.)

Edited by senseless

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I was talking to the doc about that; she was saying anything about an average of 5% is too much. Did you use the embassy recommended doc?

 

In my case, after seeing how gargantuan our baby was compared to the others in the nursery. I had no doubt she would not have been able to push it out. I told her not to eat all those cinnamon rolls!!

 

I'm starting to think that the money thing is more based on who your doctor is, rather than the hospital itself.

 

Something else I should add.... The embassy doc with 30 years of experience in the US; was cheaper, than a filipino doc with no experience abroad. (By like 20% for both c-section and normal delivery.)

 

We used a Tricare certified OB/GYN Dr. Roa and a Tricare certified pediatrician (Dr. Dias), since we have Tricare. Dr. Dias is Dr. Roa's mother and is the head of pediatrics at CDUH. She has relly impressed us with how well she works with a baby.

Edited by Headshot

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