OBJECTIVES: To compare the views of women from non-English-speaking backgrounds who received antenatal care at a public hospital clinic with those whose care was shared between a public hospital clinic and a general practitioner. DESIGN: Structured interviews in the language of the woman's choice. SETTING: Women were recruited from the postnatal wards of three maternity teaching hospitals in Melbourne between July 1994 and November 1995, and interviewed six to nine months later. PARTICIPANTS: Women born in Vietnam, Turkey and the Philippines who gave birth to a live healthy baby (over 1500 g) were eligible. Of 435 women recruited, 318 (Vietnamese [32.7%], Filipino [33.6%] and Turkish [33.6%]) completed the study. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Women's ratings of their antenatal care overall and views on specific aspects of their antenatal care. RESULTS: Women in shared care (n = 151) were not more likely than women in public clinic care (n = 143) to rate their care as "very good" (odds ratio [OR], 1.38; 95% confidence interval [95% CI], 0.72-2.63). Satisfaction with particular aspects of care (waiting times, opportunity to ask questions, whether caregivers were rushed, whether concerns were taken seriously) did not differ significantly between those in shared care and those in public clinic care. Women in shared care were not happier with their medical care than women in public clinic care (OR, 0.83; 95% CI, 0.35-1.96), but were more likely to see a caregiver who spoke their language (OR, 17.69; 95% CI, 6.15-69.06), although two-thirds still saw a GP who spoke only English. CONCLUSION: Shared antenatal care is not more satisfying than public clinic care for women from non-English-speaking backgrounds. Further evaluation of shared care is clearly needed.