Govt must cut cesarean birth rate
Updated: 2013-08-28 09:40
The rate of cesarean births in China this year is three times higher than the recommended World Health Organization level. And although the cesarean birth rate has reached 70-80 percent in some regions, people seem indifferent to the dangers associated with the procedure, says an article in Beijing News. Excerpts:
The WHO conducted a worldwide survey in 2007-08, which showed that China had the highest cesarean section birth rate in the world; it was 46.5 percent. The rate remains high even after more than fiver years of the survey.
According to relevant department officials, it is difficult to evaluate the qualifications of professionals working in the maternity care sector who recommend cesarean section to couples because of lack of scientific data. But the key problem lies with the government policy, which does not provide proper guidelines for maternity care and childbirth.
Since arranging for natural delivery may be more time and energy consuming for doctors and hospitals, they recommend would-be mothers to opt for cesarean section. The decision is also based on monetary considerations, because the charge for natural delivery, in a Beijing hospital for example, is 2,000 yuan ($326.6) whereas for a cesarean section it is 3,800 yuan. If we count in the necessary formalities for cesarean birth, the cost will be still higher.
Government departments have not paid attention to the high cesarean birth rate. As a result, even in a city like Beijing, which has the best medical resources and facilities in the country, local authorities have failed to reduce the cesarean birth rate.
Perhaps the government should offer monetary incentive to hospitals and doctors that encourage would-be mothers to opt for natural delivery to cover their "economic loss" in order to reduce the rising cesarean birth rate.