British hospitals ban caesareans in cost-cutting move

August 21st, 2011 - 11:06 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Aug 21 (IANS) A number of British hospitals would only conduct a caesarean section if the mother’s health is at risk by a natural birth, a media report said Sunday.

The restrictions have been put in place by primary care trusts in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, Herefordshire, Bristol, South Staffordshire, County Durham, Dorset, Derbyshire, Bournemouth and Poole.

They have launched the crackdown on women who are “too posh to push” - saying it wastes millions of pounds of NHS (National Health Service) money every year, Daily Mail reported.

Some mothers have criticised the restrictions, saying it should be a woman’s right to choose how her baby is born.

One quarter of all births in Britain are now by caesarean section, up from just nine percent in 1980, despite a campaign by the World Health Organisation, which believes there is no justification for any country having a rate exceeding 15 percent, the Mail said.

A planned caesarean is 800 pounds more expensive than a natural birth - taking money from strained NHS budgets away from other priorities such as heart disease and cancer.

Economists estimate that a drop of one percent in the proportion of women having the surgery would save the NHS an estimated 5.6 million a year, according to the Mail.

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