Pregnancy is an exciting time but there is also a lot to consider for the upcoming delivery. Where are you going to have the baby? Is it the best care available? What if complications arise during labour? There is no denying that most pregnant women in South Africa would prefer giving birth in a private hospital. However, this is not always possible. Private hospital care is unaffordable for many but if you have medical aid or the finances available then you need to make the necessary arrangements as early as possible.

GET A QUOTE
CHOOSE YOUR MEDICAL COVER
Find cover that suits your budget










Procedure For Maternity Booking

The entire procedure for booking your bed in the maternity ward is quite simple. But time is the key factor. Do not wait until you go into labour to show up at your nearest private hospital expecting to be guaranteed a bed. The hospital may turn you away and you may even have to resort to a government facility at the last minute. If a hospital bed is unavailable and you did not make a booking ahead of time, then the hospital cannot compromise those patients who made plans early.

So when is a good time to start the planning? You gynaecologist will advise you accordingly but you could do it as early as the 16 to 20 week mark.

Speak To Your Doctor

Firstly you need to know your estimated date of delivery (EDD). You should be seeing a private gynaecologist who will be attending to you during the course of the pregnancy and deliver your baby. Your gynaecologist will be able to tell you the estimated date of delivery and clarify as to which private hospitals he/she would be willing to deliver your baby.

Your gynaecologist will provide you with a hospital admission form/card at around the 20 to 24 week mark. You will need this card along with a medical aid authorisation number to book your bed in the maternity ward. The admission form/card may only be used at a specific hospital. Alternatively your gynaecologist may provide you with a letter which could be used at several different hospitals.

Remember that some gynaecologists will only do deliveries in specific hospitals and may not be willing to change this just because you prefer another hospital. In this case you may have to change your gynaecologist which you should do as early as possible in your pregnancy.

Get Medical Aid Authorisation

You need to get your medical aid to authorise the payment of your upcoming delivery. This can be done telephonically at any time but it is best to wait till about 20 weeks once your doctor has a better idea of your estimated date of delivery. The medical aid authorisations department will fill you in on the scheme’s procedures.You will need to provide your medical aid with the following details:

  • Your estimated date of delivery
  • Type of delivery – normal vaginal birth or Caesarean section (C-section)
  • Your gynaecologist’s name and practice number

Once the authorisation number is issued, make sure that you keep it in a safe place at all times.

Booking A Bed

Set a date to visit the hospital and book your bed in the maternity ward. Try not to put it off till its too late. You should do your booking around the 26 week mark so you can be assured of a bed. Furthermore by doing it before the 28 week mark, you can arrange the best time to have the 4D scan if the private hospital offers it for free. It is best to do this scan between 28 to 32 weeks.In order to book your bed, you will need the following documents and details:

  • the hospital admission form/card/letter from your gynaecologist
  • your identity document (green bar coded ID book)
  • your medical aid card
  • the authorisation number from your medical aid

Visit the pre-admissions department of the selected private hospital and speak to the staff about your maternity ward booking. They will run you through the procedure. A small cash deposit may be necessary at the time of admission if you are on medical aid. Semi-private and private maternity wards may or may not be covered by your medical aid plan. If not then you will have to pay a little extra in cash to secure your bed in these wards.

However, if you do not have medical aid then you will have to pay a large deposit or even the entire delivery package fee upfront. Cash or credit cards are your only payment options in most private hospitals. This amount can vary anywhere from R10,000 to R30,000, sometimes more or less depending on the private hospital you choose in South Africa. Upfront cash fees do not include your baby’s stay in a neonatal ICU should complications arise. Cash patients need to prepare themselves financially for this possibility, as a few days in neonatal ICU can run into the tens of thousands of rands.

You may need to visit the hospital again around the 32 week mark for pre-admission maternity counselling. Here a staff member will run you through all the procedures that you need to know for the time of delivery. This includes when you should arrive at the hospital, antenatal classes for mothers, the contents of your maternity hospital bag and other details relevant to mother and child’s care in hospital.

25 Thoughts on “Maternity Ward Bookings At Private Hospitals”

    • Hi Selinah. Yes, you can still sign up for medical aid but your current pregnancy will not be covered as it is considered a pre-existing condition. However, medical aid cover is still advisable for your newborn baby’s needs as well as your future medical needs.

  • I’m 20weeks pregnant I want to deliver my child at private hospital yes I do have medical aid but my problem is that do I need a lettr from a doctor before I can see a gynaecologist?

    • Hi Nthaby. This entirely depends on your medical scheme. Most schemes do not require that you have a referral letter from your GP to see a specialist but a few do. Speak to your scheme and then follow up with your GP for the referral letter.

  • Good morning,
    my name Tshego I am 8 weeks pregnant and my partner wants to put me in his medical aid will it cover for it, I also don’t want to give birth in government hospital.

  • I’m 40weeks this week and been seeing a gynea and booked at private hospital however the pains are too much I can’t wait anymore and want to go to a provincial hospital to give birth via a ceaserean as in tomorrow

    • Hi Hillary. Hopefully you have spoken to your gynaecologist by now. If not then do so immediately. Remember that even if you are booked for delivery on a specific day, you can go in earlier if necessary. The hospital should be able to accomodate you and so should your OBGYN. There is no need to specifically go to a provincial hospital if you are booked at a private hospital and have paid up already or your medical aid has authorised it.

  • Hi
    I’m 36 weeks pregnant. I haven’t been frequently going to gyne’s visits, I’m paying private/cash for child delivery do private hospitals require gyne’s referral letter? I’m kinda stressing now.

  • I am @ gauteng and I want to deliver at home place in Kzn my problem z that do I need to go there myself for bed booking for my delivery or can i sent someone else to do it for me with Necessary documents

  • I am in Gauteng and 33 weeks along. Given that I do not have medical aid, are there other private facilities that are more reasonably priced than private hospital for cash deliveries that i may look into. I really would rather not go to a public facility however the cost for birthing plans is so inflated. Please suggest a goo midwife or dulla option that also provides epidural.

  • Hi I’m Happiness, from Newcastle Kzn, I’d like to know, I’m covered to my partner’s medical aid, I’m 8 weeks pregnant and wish to give birth at netcare Clinton hospital would it be possible, thanks

    • Hi,I’m only got my authorisation letter from the hospital, but only seeing my gyno on the first of June of which I’ll be 36 weeks,then its when I will be getting a letter to submit along with my authorisation letter to ferncrest to book a bed! Am I late to book a bed at 36 weeks?

  • Hi.Am 31 weeks and I booked at public hospital but I want to deliver my baby at private hospital. I have a medical aid. Can they help me there?

  • HI I am 32 weeks and have been doing check ups at my local MOU. I was unaware that my medical aid would cover everything. I want to go private now but they require a letter from a Gynae but no Gynae wants to see me due to my gestational age. What are my other options?

    • Hi Shakes. This is a difficult situation. Most gynaecologists will not take on a patient at this late stage of pregnancy. You have to speak to the private hospital of your choice. They may be able to convince one of the gynaecologists at their hospital to assist you accordingly.

  • Hi my name is Nthabeleng I have medical aid and I want to deliver my baby at private hospital. And the date I got from a doctor its 1 July 2019 .my problem now is I lost my I’d document .can I be able to book without I’d document

  • Hi I am 8 weeks pregnant and I don’t have medical aid but I want to give birth in a private hospital is it possible?

  • Hi , I am 33 weeks and been doing my check up at my local clinic and public hospital near me, i do have medical aid, i want to give birth at a private hospital cause my medical aid covers everything, im not sure what i must do from here in order to book a bed as i dont have a gynae, please help…

  • I don’t have medical aid but I want to book and deliver my baby at private hospital what can I do please assist I am 10 weeks pregnant

  • I’m 32weeks and on gems and haven’t really kept up with my checks ups but would like to deliver at a private hospital. What is required of me since I don’t have a gynae

  • I have a basic medical aid plan and would like to book a bed for delivery. Will it be possible to get it as im due nxt month Edd 25 June ??

  • I joined medical aid not knowing that I am pregnant and now I’m stressing about it because I still waiting on them to reply if they will pay for the delivery or not, what are the odds of them actually paying for the delivery?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *