Sunday, August 21, 2016

Having a Baby in Oman as an Employee in the Government Sector pt. 1

I haven't been blogging because no one would let me. I had (another) baby in Oman, and I was wretchedly ill at first, then apparently I am a scary bleeder to some (anemics generally are since our iron levels are too low to carry oxygen at the best of times) so I have forced myself to relax by moving into a new house without proper government electricity (we'll write a house update post later) where I am being all "I've lived in the boonies before-Canadian" and organizing our lives around generator electricity. And why generators are so overpriced in Oman is a post for another day;).

Back to babies. I have now had 3. All cared for in prenatal in government clinics. All delivered in governmment hospitals.

Government clinics do have the crappiness of long wait times and bad holiday care. However, after having been treated for common infections and general testing for baby related stuff from everywhere in the Sultanate from Barka to Nizwa I firmly recommend the ANC (and evening walk-in) clinic in Al Hail North Mawallah. The Omani lady doctors there know their stuff. And if they don't they send you to Emergency care where someone generally gets you the care you need without waiting months on appointment. They and the nurses have good english too;)--- most studied Canada, U.S, and U.K....Barka and Nizwa... not so much;). As good an experience as I have had through attempting Star Care and Badr al Sama for the same anyways (better for the most part).

As for hospitals I have had all my babies at Sultan Qaboos University hospital, as an unbooked patient through Emergency. I know I shouldn't do this to the poor TRNs at SQUH emerg... but I hate my experiences at Royal and Nadha so much that I will anyways....and statistics from like Bahla maernity, Sohar, Rustaq maternity and delivery scare the crap out of me.

Going unbooked means one should be in labour. They will not admit you unbooked unless you are at least 3cm dilated, so if you aren't, simply refuse to leave all crazily... like I did, until you are 3cm or they take you.

(p.s if you are an arab expat you might like other hospitals better than squ since they {SQU} do have male nurses and doctors in Emergency for deliveries---although the only male doctors I saw were for baby nutrition in maternity after delivery). I do know one of Oman's best for weird and dangerous baby deliveries is at SQU, and if it came down to a doctor having to choose between my life and the baby's (which would be the cae delivering such a case elsewhere probably) the only guy I've seen manage to save both is at SQU. SQU also lets your husband stay with you the whole way. Some other hospitals are gender segregated through triage and observation before delivery. I can't deal with that personally.)

I told them (SQU Triage nurse and observation midwife) I left Royal after swearing at the triage RN (nurse) at Royal and pulling her computer out of its plug since she wasn't checking the triage line (I know my emergency healthcare stuff) like she is supposed to. I told her i would rather have my baby in a parking lot than that hospital.....Pregnant. In labour. I am kind of an evil banshee. People have to keep that in mind.

However I am told, once you get through observation and admittance in Royal, delivery section itself is fine for expat expectations. Maternity not so much, but one can live with it. I prefer to be in observation with people who listen to me however, and to have my husband around as a legal witness at least, if they don't.

This time at SQU my midwives were all super nice (tough but patient and gentle as they can be), nurses were super sweet, and doctors good (although one of them recognized me from my first delivery when I had tossed something at her head and called her f***ing useless for not allowing me to give myself a c-section;), so she felt the need to ask me if I was Muslim this time;). She apologized for what she thought was a rude and impertinent question. Trust me, I am a god-awful patient, so if they were nice to me, imagine how they must be with other sane normal people?

They (SQU) gave me all the options for pain care in a timely manner. They let me make choices and answered questions. They stress natural {push} delivery over C-sections unlike other hopitals, and don't let you give up unless you or the baby will die otherwise (which is good for recovery times afterward).

Maternity care is still meh for the mother if it isn't your first baby, but baby care is fine. Food, as always, sucks. Visitation rules in all government hospitals, sucks.

All my baby follow-up was government clinics. Like I said, I like North Al Mawaleh al Hail, best.

Emergency scans were often done at Barka Badr al Sama. Government care means 2-5 hours if one goes through Emergency. Sometimes paying 20 omr is worth it. Loved the Iraqi ultra-sound doctor there, plus the lines shortness in Barka made the drive out there worth it.

More later inshaAllah.

2 comments: said...

Congratulations for the baby. I've been meaning to write up on the Healthcare industry in Oman but haven't gotten around. Since you've been to many of the government hospitals, maybe I should check with you before I blog that.

My personal opinion is that Oman healthcare gets the average doctors from other countries, that's the opinion in the medical fraternity anyway- an american doctor told me that no ambitious doctor would go to the middle east since there are fewer complications and medical advancement for his learning. Omani national doctors - are few in numbers and fewer by good expertise. And other doctors are the average ones looking for lesser working hours and more pay.

Government hospitals always suck but at least governments need to keep investing the sector. I wonder if Oman has has invested much (quality) in the public health sector. Yet to research.

Omani Princess (not Omani...yet) said...

Omani doctors tend to be better in the muscat hospitals... but they often get fed up and leave the country---depends on tthe specialty.... plus Oman has focused on omanizing nurses and specialties and making hospitals better... but aving better clinics and good GPs? That's what makes a country's health system less expensive and better quality... In Canada i went to emergency care... never. And saw specialties? Like an eye doctor once or twice every four years. my gp was the best. Here... I can't really get a decent gp... and the referral system is a hindrance to efficient and timely care.

I hate government dental... and dental surgeons... On the otherhand I like the cardiac care in Royal---hate their emerg.... and delivery section. nahda for ear was awful. Bahla hospital scares me in general. Nizwa has some good doctors... and some doctors who have less knowledge than nurses.... scary too.

But overall my private care experiences were worse. Serious medical errors, some resulting in death. No apologies. rude staff. long waits. not the right care or treatment after long waits and a lot f cash.... that kind of thing.