Disclaimer: The opinions stated below are those of an excessively worried, picky and downright demanding pregnant woman and may not reflect the experiences or thoughts of other (calmer) patients of the said health-care providers.
I have certain expectations when it comes to healthcare. I mean, apart from the hospital being credible, sterile and equipped for emergencies I also want it to provide a personal healthcare service and to genuinely “care”. Would it be too much to ask for of the doctor to remember my name (without looking at the file) and the reason for my visit (again without looking at the file)?
We are expecting our first child and obviously have a lot of questions and concerns. As any parents do, we want everything to go smoothly. We expect our doctor to take her sweet time doing our first (and any consecutive) ultrasounds, to listen to my concerns and to at least look at the reports concluded by other doctors. That’s why I am not so happy with Muscat Private Hospital.
We had our first scheduled appointment when I was 6 weeks (and 4 days) pregnant. My doctor asked if my home test was positive and a few other standard questions. We then proceeded to a small dark ultrasound room and heard our baby’s heart beat for the very first time. It was out of this world. Routinely, I was then prescribed folic acid and novidoxine (to ease the morning sickness) and we were sent on our way. Being in a slightly shocked and ecstatic state that morning all the questions I had completely flew out of my head. I wanted to ask her if I am allowed to have a back massage, if there are any foods I should I avoid eating and if I should perhaps give my cat away (toxoplasmosis). Looking back at the first appointment, I would say the vibe we got from the doctor pretty much summed up to “It’s only 6 weeks, come back when you are a little more pregnant”. Or to put it more bluntly “It’s still very early…anything can happen”.
I had slightly different expectations of what my first prenatal appointment would go like. I know for certain that the doctors back home would shower a pregnant woman with advice (Don’t lift anything heavy, drink plenty of milk, don’t change the cat litter). However, in Muscat Private Hospital the appointment felt more commercial than personal. Needless to say I threw myself into speaking to other expecting women and mothers to get a little insight into what kind of a treat I was in for. (And we gave away the cat…)
Fast forward exactly a month. It was extremely difficult for Alex to find the time and come to the next appointment with me because he was booked on a flight to Salalah exactly an hour after our appointment was due to start. However he was very excited to see the baby again and he knew that the Nuchal translucency (NT) scan we were about to do was extremely important so he did the best to reschedule his work trip (but his phone still rang every 15 minutes). First of all we had to wait for an hour for our doctor to find the time to see us. Second of all when we finally had her full attention she checked how far along I am (10 weeks and 4 days) and declared that it’s too early for the NT scan as it will not show until the baby is at least 12-13 weeks. I swear I could hear and see the smoke coming out of my husband ears. Why in the world would they set an appointment to specifically do the scan if it was too early? (It’s a rhetorical question, I know exactly why!).
She immediately saw that we were uncomfortable with her decision and Alex proceeded to calmly (ahem…) explain that an entire oil-drilling site in Salalah was stopped for a day because he could not get on the place because she said we would be doing the damn scan. In her defense the doctor said that she did not say we would be doing the scan but that we would during this appointment schedule another appointment to do the scan. (So let’s get this clear, I am paying 20 OMR for an appointment to just set another appointment???).
Seeing that Alex was literally turning red at this point she sent us down to the ultrasound ward where a pleasant woman reassured me that she would do her best to perform the scan (even though we were two weeks early, yada, yada). Ha! Little did they know that we are currently growing a very progressive and super-developed baby who in week 10 could show them exactly what it was “by the books” too early for them to see. So it is moments like these where I love that Alex is strong-willed, a little (ahem…) pushy and very convincing. Not only did the scan show that the baby is developing very well but we were also able to see it kick around and throw its arms over its head and bounce around in its little protective bubble. Mesmerizing.
What left me worried however is that my doctor did not even ask to see the report of the ultrasound and when we are back there in a few weeks time I doubt she will even remember that she sent us down for a scan.
I am seriously having second thoughts about Muscat Private Hospital now even though I know they are probably the best place to deliver a baby in Muscat, it’s the prenatal care that is leaving me feeling a little abandoned and “used”.
So please share any good/bad experiences you had at Muscat Private, regardless if it was for delivery related or not. What other hospitals provide excellent prenatal and postnatal services? If anyone has actually been with Muscat Private for their entire pregnancy and delivery please let me know! If you don’t want to share your private health stories publicly please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would greatly appreciate any piece of advice at this point!