Caesarean births in private hospitals 'excessive'

19th October 2006, Comments 0 comments

19 October 2006, MADRID — Over 35 percent of births in private hospitals are through Caesareans in private health, compared with more than 21 percent in public hospitals.

19 October 2006

MADRID — Over 35 percent of births in private hospitals are through Caesareans in private health, compared with more than 21 percent in public hospitals.

The health ministry said on Thursday, in response to a parliamentary question, this figure for the private health sector exceeded World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines.

The WHO says only 15 percent of births should be through Caesareans. 

Ministry sources said there existed a current debate about the suitability of having this high number of Caesarean births.

It may be happening, it is thought, due to social changes including the fact women are giving birth at older ages and more are becoming pregnant through artificial methods.

But a ministry spokesman said in any case "the number is excessive in private health centres and it is not reasonable to suggest there are so many complications which result in so many cases".

Often more complicated births are managed in public hospitals.

Recent studies have shown babies born through Caesarean births have 3 times more chance of dying within the first few weeks of birth, compared with a normal birth.

And the risk of complications in Caesareans is higher for both mothers and children than in normal births.

The WHO recommend they are only carried when clinically necessary.

Also, the health ministry also said epidurals were administered in 43 percent of cases in public hospitals, even though it is not obligatory.

The ministry said: "From the point of view of attention at the birth, all those women who want to have an epidural can have it. But what is very different is that all hospitals should not make it their target that all women give birth with anaesthetic."

The response was given to a question by United Left deputy Ángel Pérez.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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