Wednesday, May 11, 2005

And your total hospital bill will be --- 130 EURS

Only?! When will we be billed for the rest? I was pretty surprised when the hospital bill for Peanut's delivery arrived - and it was only 130 EURS!

We were in the hospital for several days before and after the delivery. I made liberal use of the pain killers available - including having an epidural and two additional injections. There was loads of monitoring equipment used during the delivery -- not to mention many other medications. Peanut's dad also stayed overnight in the hospital with us in a private room. We saw a pediatrician for Peanut and I had a post partum check-up with a midwife. We ate lots of hospital food.

Yet, it really all cost only 130 EURS - it was the food that got us in the end.

The bill really only was for the meals we ate - about 22 EURs a day for each of us. In addition to breakfast, lunch and dinner, we had afternoon coffee and a snacktime in the evenings. The fare was bland and seemed surprisingly low on veggies. But, I guess for breastfeeding moms you want to keep it simple, but filling. The afternoon coffee break seemed ususal since I thought we shouldn't have too much caffine, but in a country of ardent coffee lovers, it would be hard to imagine a day without a coffee break!

We had selected on of the public hospitals - the Kätilöopisito - and did not use any private health insurance. I can only imagine what all this would have cost in the US for someone without insurance! Here it was a case of a good return on the oodles of taxes we pay. I suspect we'll continue to see more benefits of the system as we venture with Peanut. So far, all of our pre-natal visits were entirely free and our post-natal vists will also be - as long as we make use of the public clinics and doctors.

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