NI Set to Charge for C-Sections – Article From Midwives Online

25 Oct

Northern Ireland is set to charge for caesarean sections

Posted: 29 September 2011 by Rob Dabrowski 
Women in Northern Ireland may have to pay for caesarean sections, under plans to revamp the maternity service.
Caesarean section
Health minister Edwin Poots said he believes those who have the procedure for non-medical reasons should be charged.The minister made the announcement on Wednesday (28 September) as he launched a consultation on a review of maternity services in Northern Ireland.   ‘If people choose to have a caesarean section they should pay for it,’ he said

‘Caesarean sections are not about choice, they are about necessity.

‘So if people want to move away from necessity and use it for choice then the public should not have to pay for that.’

In 2010, 30% of births in Northern Ireland were by caesarian, compared to 24% in England, 26% in Wales and Scotland, and 25% in Ireland.

The minister’s wife had the procedure for the birth of one of their children for medical reasons.

He said he fully supports the operation when it is ‘absolutely necessary’ but that, when possible, a natural birth has ‘better outcomes for mother and baby’. 

He added that women who have no medical need to undergo the surgery should be encouraged to choose to give birth naturally.

At present, women who elect to go private to have a caesarean on non-medical grounds pay for their pre and post-natal care.

But the cost of the delivery is met by the health service.

Breedagh Hughes, RCM UK Board for Northern Ireland board director, said the caesarean section rate is ‘very high’ and the focus is on trying to ‘normalise’ childbirth.

She continued: ‘One of the things we hope will come out in the review will be asking trusts to look at the numbers of deliveries that they have, to look at the reasons for the caesarean sections and to focus on trying to prevent women from having that first caesarean section, which very often leads to the old adage – ‘once a section always a section’.

The consultation will run until 23 December 2011.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: