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Tuesday 24 January 2017

The gold-plated price tag on bringing a child into this world

Maternity centres, hotels and rehab clinics all charge staggering amounts, writes Alison O'Riordan

Published 21/02/2010 | 05:00

Having a baby will now cost you up to a staggering €4,000 a night in the exclusive Mount Carmel Maternity Hospital in Dublin, new figures reveal, nearly 25 times the cost of a standard room in the upmarket Four Seasons Hotel.

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With one night private stretching to an even heftier sum of €4,800, having a baby has never before put such a strain on family purse strings.

Considering a mother who has given birth would need at least three nights in a hospital after having a baby, this clocks up to €5, 990 for three nights in a private room -- not for the faint-hearted.

On top of this consultant obstetrician fees range from €3,000 to €3,800, and ultrasounds, carried out throughout the pregnancy cycle, are at a cost of €180 each.

So by the time your baby is a minute old you could have dished out up to €10,000 or more in hospital fees, and that's before you've even started to raise your bundle of joy.

For private patients in public hospitals such as the Rotunda Hospital and Holles Street Maternity Hospital, accommodation per night for a private room, however, costs a much lower sum of €910, the same as in any other public hospital, and this again excludes obstetrician and paediatrician charges. For semi-private patients, accommodation is €713 per night.

So the overall cost of one night in the only private maternity hospital in the country is nearly on a par with one night in the luxurious Presidential Suite in The Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Powerscourt, County Wicklow, one of the most scenic and historic estates in Ireland.

It sure beats hospital food and smells for €5,000 a night, and the Presidential Suite will give you access to two championship-calibre golf courses on the grounds, a 30,000-square-foot luxury spa and a Gordon Ramsay signature restaurant. The suite is perched at the top of the hotel with breathtaking views toward Sugar Loaf Mountain.

It also offers a private rooftop terrace with a jacuzzi tub, a pantry, and a sauna and steam room -- a million miles from a night in a hospital bed.

According to Fiona Doyle of Mount Carmel Medical Group: "The maternity packages cover a range of services in addition to accommodation fees for mother and baby including 24/7 nursery baby care, a delivery fee, paediatrician and anaesthetist on-call fee, the epidural and pharmacy, physiotherapy and laboratory test charges."

And if the Ritz does not satisfy the taste buds, fear not -- Ireland has got its own version of the Priory in an €8,000-a-week clinic for addicts.

Anyone suffering from addiction and who needs to break free of alcohol abuse, drug dependency, eating disorders, depression, gambling, and other addictive or compulsive behaviour can receive all the help they need to recover -- but at the gold-plated price tag of up to €8,000 a week.

As it becomes Ireland's answer to London's Priory, which has treated celebs including Kate Moss and Robbie Williams, the plush new Promis centre in the Wicklow Mountains has 20 beds and is equipped with purpose-built treatment rooms, gender-sensitive areas, and rooms for massage therapy, hydrotherapy, physiotherapy, as well as a fully appointed gym, indoor swimming pool and sauna.

Robin Lefever, founder of Promis Ireland said: "It's €4,000 a week and €600 a night, and that's an inclusive price for medical work, therapy, and care and treatment.

"We have one suite where people can bring their family in with them, so it's a larger suite costing €8,000 a week," he added. The luxurious rehab centre aims to provide a retreat to stressed-out professionals, such as lawyers, and accountants.

But you must be able to afford the €4,000 a week price tag, which will exclude a lot of Ireland's addicted.

The centre will help to tackle Ireland's big cocaine problem, as well as addictions to heroin, alcohol, and eating disorders, according to its founder. This sanctuary for recovery will hold a capacity of 20 people at a time, but managers say they'll aim to have no more than a dozen patients at the facility at any one time.

Sunday Independent

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